Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycan May Have Many Roles In Spinal Cord Injury Repair
In injuries to the central nervous system such as spinal cord injury, the glial scar is formed in a similar manner to scars in other parts of the body. However, while protecting the damaged area in many ways, it simultaneously releases chemicals that inhibit further regeneration. Within the glial scar, several major types of cells appear, in particular microglia and macrophages. The proteoglycan molecule chondroitin sulfate plays a vital role in the inhibition of neuronal regeneration, but according to the article, the increased synthesis of this compound indicates it might actually play a dual rold in this process.
Michal Schwartz, of the Weizmann Institute of Science, and colleagues performed several experiments in mice to explore this dual role in the acute phase of healing after a spinal cord injury. Evaluating spinal cord damage through the proteins and cells that are present, the researchers postulate that the proteoglycan in fact has an important role in the healing process by controlling intervening cells in communication pathways.
They conclude that the present goal to reduce expression of chondroitin sulfate may not be productive, and that it may be more important to modulate it in therapies for such injuries. They say that "timing and the extent of degradation should be carefully selected according to the changing requirements of the ongoing dynamic repair process."
They conclude with a call for further research in the formation and maintenance of the glial scar: "Moreover, since CSPG is a major constituent of the glial scar, the present findings raises the potential need to revisit the overall perception of the glial scar and its role in recovery. A better understanding of the regulation of the scar tissue and the role of the naturally occurring CSPG in health and disease will enable us to increase the benefit of endogenous repair mechanisms and improve many of the available therapies for CNS injury."
Two faces of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan in spinal cord repair: A role in microglia/macrophage activation.
Rolls A, Shechter R, London A, Segev Y, Jacob-Hirsch J, et al.
PLoS Med 5(8): e171.
Click Here For Full Length Article
Recommended related news
There are no references listed for this article.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
McKenney, Anna Sophia. "Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycan May Have Many Roles In Spinal Cord Injury Repair." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 19 Aug. 2008. Web.
30 Mar. 2017. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/118606.php>
McKenney, A. (2008, August 19). "Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycan May Have Many Roles In Spinal Cord Injury Repair." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
Contact our news editors
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please see our contact page.
Copyright Medical News Today: Excluding email/sharing services explicitly offered on this website, material published on Medical News Today may not be reproduced, or distributed without the prior written permission of Medilexicon International Ltd. Please contact us for further details.