Researchers Identify a Protein to Treat Intracerebral Haemorrhage

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University of Helsinki and Taiwanese researchers have found a new way to remove waste from the brain after haemorrhage, using a protein called cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF).

Intracerebral haemorrhage, and bleeding into the brain tissue, is a devastating neurological condition affecting millions of people annually. It has a high mortality rate, with long-term neurological deficits experienced by many survivors. To date, no medication has been identified that supports brain recovery following haemorrhage.

In an international collaboration, researchers from the Brain Repair laboratory, University of Helsinki, together with their Taiwanese colleagues investigated whether CDNF, a protein being currently tested for Parkinson’s disease treatment, could be a potential treatment for brain haemorrhage.

Research suggests that CDBF also has therapeutic effects and enhances immune cell’s response after brain haemorrhage. The authors found that the administration of cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor accelerates haemorrhagic lesion resolution, reduces brain swelling, and improves functional outcomes in an animal model of brain haemorrhage.

“Surprisingly, we found that cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor acts on immune cells in the bleeding brain, by increasing anti-inflammatory mediators and suppressing the production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines that are responsible for cell signalling. This is a significant step towards the treatment of injuries caused by brain haemorrhage, for which we currently have no cure,” says Professor Mikko Airavaara, from University of Helsinki.

Dr.Vassileios Stratoulias from the Brain Repair laboratory comments, “It’s interesting to note that after a bleeding episode, the brain contains a lot of waste and debris. Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor encourages immune cells in the brain to consume and remove the waste and debris, which is essential for the brain’s recovery!.”

The administration of cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor also resulted in the alleviation of cell stress in the area that surrounds the haematoma.

Finally, the researchers demonstrated that systemic administration of cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor promotes scavenging by the brain’s immune cells after brain haemorrhage and has beneficial effects in an animal model of brain haemorrhage.

Source: University of Helsinki

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