Taxol, the trade name of a drug currently used for cancer treatment, has now been shown to promote regeneration of injured CNS-nerve cells.
Researchers claim that, Taxol promotes regeneration of injured CNS-nerve cells in two ways: Taxol stabilizes the microtubules so that their order is maintained and the injured nerve cells regain their ability to grow. In addition, Taxol prevents the production of an inhibitory substance in the scar tissue. The scar tissue, though reduced by Taxol, will still develop at the site of injury and can thus carry out its protective function. Yet growing nerve cells are now better able to cross this barrier.
"This is literally a small breakthrough", says Bradke.
Experiments in rats performed by this group verified the effects of Taxol. These researchers supplied the injury site after a partial spinal cord lesion with Taxol via a miniature pump. After just a few weeks, animals showed a significant improvement in their movements. So far researchers tested the effects of Taxol immediately after a lesion. Researchers next plan is to investigate whether Taxol is as effective when applied onto an existing scar several months after the injury. As the research is still in the state of basic research and a variety of obstacles remain and eventually, pre-clinical trials will need to be done, "however, researchers believe that this is a very promising path........
Ref: Farida Hellal et. al.,