What zebrafish can teach us about healing brain damage
November 11, 2012
The zebrafish regenerates its brain after injury, unlike mammals. Is there something we can learn about the process that might help with traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative disorders?
A research team at the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Germany decided to investigate.
They found that that in zebrafish — in contrast to mammals — inflammation is a positive regulator of neuronal regeneration in the central nervous system, and in fact, is required.
“Our results suggest that acute inflammation can promote central nervous system regeneration, because it provides cues necessary for the initiation of the reactive proliferation and regenerative neurogenesis in adult zebrafish brain,” the researchers say in a Science paper. “Our findings reveal a signaling pathway in zebrafish that couples the inflammatory response to efficient enhancement of stem cell activity and initiation of neural regeneration.”
It it hoped that the research will lead to therapeutic applications in the future.