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7:26 PM  February 18, 2021

TSU scientists project help improve diagnosis and treatment of stroke

© предоставлено Томской ОКБTSU scientists project help improve diagnosis and treatment of stroke

TOMSK, Feb 18 – RIA Tomsk. Scientists of Tomsk State University (TSU) conducted a study, the results of which may become the basis for a new method for diagnosing the consequences of ischemic stroke and further treatment, the university's website reported on Thursday.

Earlier it was reported that TSU scientists, together with colleagues from Belgium and the United States, have created a non-invasive tool for tracking young neurons in the brain. The development cannot be used on humans, but it allows one to evaluate in laboratory animals how the brain recovers after a stroke, which will help create new methods of treating people.

It was also reported that TSU neuroscientists received a grant from the Russian Science Foundation (RSF) and were the first in the world to trace the death and restoration of nerve cells and axons after a cerebral stroke. The study was carried out on laboratory animals using a new diagnostic technology developed by them.

"Scientists in the course of experiments conducted using a model of ischemic stroke in rats have obtained new data on the processes that occur in the focus of brain damage. This information could form the basis of a noninvasive diagnostic method for assessing the degree of inflammation, predicting the course of the disease and choosing treatment strategies", – is said in the report.

It is added that the research results were published in the highly rated International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

How did the new study take place

© с сайта Томского госуниверситета
The aim of the research was to study the process of the formation of new neurons in ischemic stroke. For this, a special method of labeling young neurons was created. TSU scientists together with colleagues from the University of Leuven (Belgium) designed a "courier" for transporting genetic material into brain cells – special vectors based on lentiviruses and adeno-associated viruses

"Genetic engineers inserted into the deactivated virus a ferritin protein gene and a special genetic sequence that allows increasing the production of ferritin only in young neurons. Young neurons that have accumulated ferritin containing iron atoms can be "seen" using a special MRI protocol", – the press service reported.

According to the head of the Laboratory for Neurobiology of the TSU Biological Institute Marina Khodanovich, when scanning the brains of animals in which ischemic stroke was simulated, scientists saw two areas with a specific change in the MRI signal, indicating the presence of a large number of cells containing ferritin.

"The signal was recorded in a nonischemic zone, where, after a stroke, the active production of young neurons usually begins. This was not a surprise, but the presence of the same signal in the focus of the stroke was unexpected", – Khodanovich is quoted in the message.

© сайт Томского госуниверситета
Subsequent examination of brain slices showed that such a signal was given by macrophages - cells of the immune system, also called "big eaters". Macrophages are capable of actively trapping and digesting bacteria, particles foreign or toxic to the body, and fragments of dead cells.

"After a cerebral stroke, macrophages migrate to the ischemic focus, where they absorb not only the destroyed nerve tissue, but also iron-rich erythrocytes, thereby becoming "visible" on MRI", – explains the message.

How the study can help patients

According to TSU neurobiologists, surveillance over macrophage clusters using MRI can be used to create a new diagnostic approach that will be useful to clinicians. The technology will make it possible to assess the intensity of inflammation in the stroke focus, obtain more information about the patient's condition, more accurately predict the course of the disease, and select drug therapy.

"The task that neuroscientists need to solve is to find a way to distinguish between signals from macrophages and new neurons with genetic marks. To do this, it is necessary to continue the research that has begun. If the RSF grant is extended, the TSU scientists' research will focus on these very tasks", – summarizes the press service.

Наверх
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