Scientists at the University of Texas Health Center in Houston, working on brain restoration after a stroke, discovered the cause of the effects of blood clots – dysfunction of the so-called X-receptors.
X-receptors located in the cerebral cortex are damaged and become more sensitive during hemorrhage. Because of this, a stroke survivor loses coordination. The nervous system is able to adapt to changes, but cannot recover. It happens when reactions are restored quickly enough, but it happens that a person remains helpless for many years.
After a stroke, an accumulation of dead cells and the so-called debris in the brain occurs, a toxic environment that leads to damaging inflammation. Phagocytic immune cells, such as microglia and macrophages derived from blood, naturally appear in the body and act as purifiers.
According to scientists, stimulation of X-receptors by a regulator of gene expression – retinoid X receptor (RXR) can help to speed up the recovery process several times. It stimulates phagocyte cells in their mission to cleanse the brain from dead cells after a stroke, thereby limiting inflammation caused by toxic by-products, and improving brain tissue repair.
The discovery of RXR as a purification accelerator suggests that an RXR activating molecule may lead to the discovery of a promising new therapeutic target. This was confirmed by the results of an experiment on laboratory mice using computer models, published in the publication UTHealth. They presented an image of a phagocytic cell with dead apoptotic neurons absorbed during the purification process.
At the next stage, scientists tested the drug bexarotene – a retinoid drug that activates RXR and reduces the amount of brain atrophy after bleeding. This work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.