mRNA may play a crucial role for treating brain disorders

Cerebral ischemia, a condition resulting from impaired blood flow to the brain, is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Stroke (a form of cerebral ischemia) remains the fifth leading cause of death and disability in the US. For instance, stroke occurs for every 40 seconds, which affects approximately 8,00,000 people per year. Despite considerable research, there are still no possible treatment that can judiciously prevent neuronal death.

Recent research has reported a way of dispatching mRNA to construct a remedial protein that protects neurons. The BDNF gene provides instructions for producing a protein in the brain and spinal cord called Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor. This protein promotes the survival of the nerve cells by playing a role in the growth, differentiation, and maintenance of these cells. However, the BDNF molecule is too large to cross the brain’s defensive barrier and is rapidly removed from CNS, making it arduous for the BDNF to manifest its role.

Scientists have designed a system known as mRNA Nano micelles – a tiny package of mRNA surrounded by polymer strands. When the mRNA gets incorporated into the cell, it can be used as a prototype to produce the protein. By sorting out polymers with particular properties, we can ensure the mRNA is unleashed when and where it is needed. The nanomicelles were found to increase the survival of hippocampal neurons on rats that had experienced brain ischemia. Besides, long-term therapeutic benefits of improved spatial memory were observed on the administration of mRNA nanomicelles. This study will further carry its hype onto other scientists in the world. Also, it would be the basis for several other studies, which will be carried in the near future.

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Source: Medical Xpress

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