Scientists from the UBC (University of British Columbia) have found how the blood vessels guard the brain during inflammation; this is a finding that can cause the development of novel treatments for neurodegenerative disorders like epilepsy, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. In research, the researchers described how the podocalyxin—which is a protein in blood vessels—functions an important role in averting harmful blood constituents from escaping into the brain during inflammation in return to injury or infection. The study was published in the PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). The revelation marks the first time researchers have understood the role of podocalyxin in the blood-brain barrier—which is a membrane that divides the brain from circulating blood to the rest of the body and that is imperative for maintaining brain function healthily. The disruption of this blockade is general in neurodegenerative disorders and contributes to disease symptoms.
Jessica Cait—Lead Author at the BRC (Biomedical Research Centre) at UBC—stated, “These results are extremely exciting. For the very first time, we have been capable to demonstrate that this protein is important to the reliability of the blood-brain barrier.” For conducting the research, the scientists performed an examination of the effects of podocalyxin loss into human endothelial cells, plus in mouse prototypes of inflammation. They showed that endothelial cells—which supply the inner tubing of blood vessels—needs podocalyxin to reinforce blood vessels.
On a similar note, recently, a study showed that a new tumor test can guard personalized therapy for children having cancer. Scientists at the UBC and BC Children’s Hospital are the first one in Canada to utilize a novel test for pediatric tumor examination that might someday guide tailored treatments to doctors for treating children having cancer.