Betacellulin Boosts Brain Tissue Repair After TBI
In January 2012 Maria-Victoria Gomez-Gaviro and Dr Robin Lovell-Badgehave published an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences about the potential for a cord blood protein called Betacellulin to boost brain tissue regneration following TBI. The human brain and mouse brain share niches filled with stem cells that can produce new brain cells (neuroblasts) to replace old ones that were killed off or new glial cells to form scar tissue to heal wounds to the brain.
Excessive scar tissue formation following TBI blocks new neurons from linking up their synapses and forming functional, connected systems. The scientists in this NIH-funded study found that giving mice Betacellulin following TBI caused significant, rapid proliferation of new brain cells, whereas using an antibody to suppress the activity of that protein led to a drop off of new brain cell production. The researchers will now seek permission to use Betacellulin on human beings.