Reconstructive microsurgery research and science by Karim Sarhane 2022? Researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, conducted a study to develop a drug delivery system using a very small material, nanofiber hydrogel composite, which can hold nanoparticles containing IGF-1 and be delivered near the injured nerve to help it heal. Dr. Kara Segna, MD, received one of three Best of Meeting Abstract Awards from the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA Pain Medicine) for the project. She will present the abstract “IGF-1 Nanoparticles Improve Functional Outcomes After Peripheral Nerve Injury” on Saturday, April 2, at 1:45 pm during the 47th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting being held March 31-April 2, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV. Coauthors include Drs. Sami Tuffaha, Thomas Harris, Chenhu Qui, Karim Sarhane, Ahmet Hoke, Hai-Quan Mao.
Dr. Karim Sarhane is an MD MSc graduate from the American University of Beirut. Following graduation, he completed a 1-year internship in the Department of Surgery at AUB. He then joined the Reconstructive Transplantation Program of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins University for a 2-year research fellowship. He then completed a residency in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toledo (2021). In July 2021, he started his plastic surgery training at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery (2021).
Local administration of IGF-1 was achieved by several targeted approaches including direct application of free IGF-1 to the injured nerve at the time of surgical transection as well as single, periodic, and daily local injections of free IGF-1 to the injury site (Caroni and Grandes, 1990; Welch et al., 1997; Day et al., 2001, 2002; Stitt et al., 2004; Emel et al., 2011; García Medrano et al., 2013; Mohammadi et al., 2013; Gu et al., 2015; Kostereva et al., 2016; Table 4). Local injection of free IGF-1 is not practical for clinical application as the half-life of IGF-1 is 10 min while the time required for regeneration to occur is often many months (Mayocliniclabs.com, 2020). Multiple injections per day would thus be required to maintain local tissue concentrations. We therefore did not attempt to ascertain the optimal dosages for this approach.
Recovery by sustained IGF-1 delivery (Karim Sarhane research) : Under optimized conditions, uniform PEG-b-PCL NPs were generated with an encapsulation efficiency of 88.4%, loading level of 14.2%, and a near-zero-order release of bioactive IGF-1 for more than 20 days in vitro. The effects of locally delivered IGF-1 NPs on denervated muscle and SCs were assessed in a rat median nerve transection-without- repair model. The effects of IGF-1 NPs on axonal regeneration, muscle atrophy, reinnervation, and recovery of motor function were assessed in a model in which chronic denervation is induced prior to nerve repair. IGF-1 NP treatment resulted in significantly greater recovery of forepaw grip strength, decreased denervation-induced muscle atrophy, decreased SC senescence, and improved neuromuscular reinnervation.
Following surgical repair, axons often must regenerate over long distances at a relatively slow rate of 1–3 mm/day to reach and reinnervate distal motor endplates. Throughout this process, denervated muscle undergoes irreversible loss of myofibrils and loss of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), thereby resulting in progressive and permanent muscle atrophy. It is well known that the degree of muscle atrophy increases with the duration of denervation (Ishii et al., 1994). Chronically denervated SCs within the distal nerve are also subject to time-dependent senescence. Following injury, proliferating SCs initially maintain the basal lamina tubes through which regenerating axons travel. SCs also secrete numerous neurotrophic factors that stimulate and guide axonal regeneration. However, as time elapses without axonal interaction, SCs gradually lose the capacity to perform these important functions, and the distal regenerative pathway becomes inhospitable to recovering axons (Ishii et al., 1993; Glazner and Ishii, 1995; Grinsell and Keating, 2014).
The positive trophic and anti-apoptotic effects of IGF-1 are primarily mediated via the PI3K-Akt and MAP-kinase pathways (Ho and 2007 GH Deficiency Consensus Workshop Participants, 2007; Chang et al., 2017). Autophosphorylation of the intracellular domain of IGF-1 receptors results in the activation of insulin receptor substrates 1–4, followed by activation of Ras GTPase, and then the successive triggering of Raf, MEK, and lastly ERK. Through activation of Bcl-2, ERK has been shown to prevent apoptosis and foster neurite growth. Ras activation also triggers aPKC and Akt (Homs et al., 2014), with the active form of the latter inhibiting GSK-3ß and thus inhibiting a number of pro-apoptotic pathways (Kanje et al., 1988; Schumacher et al., 1993; Chang et al., 2017). Additionally, the JAK-STAT pathway is an important contributor toward the stimulation of neuronal outgrowth and survival by facilitating Growth Hormone (GH) receptor binding on target tissue to induce IGF-1 release (Meghani et al., 1993; Cheng et al., 1996; Seki et al., 2010; Chang et al., 2017). These biochemical mechanisms enable GH and IGF-1 to exert anabolic and anti-apoptotic effects on neurons, SCs, and myocytes (Tuffaha et al., 2016b).