REGENERX BIOPHARMACEUTICALS, INC. (NYSE Alternext US:RGN) announced that a research team from the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI reported that Thymosin beta 4 (Tβ4), administered to rats one day after embolic stroke, improved neurological functional outcome compared to control animals. Improvement in neurological function was measured at various time intervals over a seven week period and was statistically significant.
“We are very pleased with these results, which provide a foundation to further explore Tβ4 as a treatment for neurological injury”
An increase in remyelination of axons (regeneration of the nerve sheath) was observed in rats receiving Tβ4 compared to control animals, likely due to an increased mobilization of oligodendrocyte progenitors (stem cells surrounding axons) that differentiate into mature myelin-producing oligodendrocytes. In cell culture, Tβ4 treated neuronal progenitor cells isolated from normal and stroke rats demonstrated increased mRNA levels of epidermal growth factor receptor. This receptor has previously been shown to be a regulator of oligoprogenitor cell expansion and tissue regeneration in response to brain injury and further supports the role of Tβ4 in stem cell-mediated tissue repair.
“These data are compelling and are consistent with previously reported data in EAE mice (experimental models for multiple sclerosis) showing that Tβ4 stimulates oligoprogenitor cells after injury. In this recent experiment, after an ischemic stroke, neurological function in the rat models was significantly improved, apparently by remyelination of neuronal axons induced by Tβ4. The fact that Tβ4 helps repair and regenerate tissue after a brain injury is not only remarkable, but strongly correlates with data previously published showing Tβ4’s ability to regenerate cardiac tissue after an ischemic event,” stated Dr. Hynda Kleinman, chief of the Cell Biology Section at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, NIH, and a consultant to RegeneRx.
“We are very pleased with these results, which provide a foundation to further explore Tβ4 as a treatment for neurological injury,” commented Daniel C. Morris, MD, senior staff physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Henry Ford Health Systems.
The research was presented by Dr. Morris, representing the Departments of Neurology and Emergency Medicine, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI, at the International Stroke Conference, San Antonio, TX, February 23-26, 2010. The research was performed under a Material Transfer Agreement between RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. and the Henry Ford Health System.
RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.