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Thymosin Beta 4 Helps Regenerate Damaged Brain in Rats

Posted Jun 02 2010 11:39am
The small protein thymosin beta 4 has multiple functions: it moonlights to repair injured tissues [6], has anti-inflammatory efficacy in monocyte/macrophages [7], promotes wound healing [8] and mediates angiogenesis [9]. Tβ4 has been also shown to play a relevant role during the development of different neural cell types in the rat brain [10]. In particular, Tβ4 plays a neurotrophic and antiapoptotic role during the development of the nervous system [11]. __PLoSONE

New research to be reported June 3 at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine in Phoenix, showed that in adult rats, thymosin beta-4 assisted in the repair of nerve fibres in the brain and in growing new blood vessels.
A synthetic version of a naturally occurring peptide promoted the creation of new blood vessels and repaired damaged nerve cells in lab animals, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

"This successful experiment holds promise for treating clot-induced strokes in humans," says study lead author Daniel C. Morris, M.D., senior staff physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital. "Neurorestorative therapy is the next frontier in the treatment of stroke." _ SD

This is a potentially important finding for regenerative medicine, given how common cerebral vascular accident is in humans, and how dismal the prognosis typically is afterward.

Thymosin beta-4 is an immune modulating protein, which demonstrates once again how important the brain and the immune system are to one another. Given that Thymosin beta-4 is not a growth factor, as such, it will be important to generate a picture of the entire mechanism involved, for a complete understanding of potential therapies for brain damage, using this protein.
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