The Role of Self-Accumulated Peptide Amphiphile in Spinal Cord Injury Functional Reclamation
Injection into an experimentally injured spinal cord of a self-assembling peptide amphiphile (PA) that displays an IKVAV epitope reduced glial scarring and improved functional reclamation (Tysseling-Mattiace et al., 2008). Injection of a material that lacked this epitope did not alter outcome suggesting that signaling by the IKVAV epitope was central to the beneficial effects of IKVAV-PA. However the mechanical properties of implanted materials may also alter tissue and cell behavior in vivo (Discher et al., 2005). We therefore explored whether the mechanical properties of PAs might affect outcome after spinal cord injury. By treating animals with a spinal cord injury with different PAs that varied in their mechanical properties without epitope presentation, we found that the beneficial effects of the PAs are primarily dependent upon the presentation of a bioactive epitope presentation rather than the mechanical properties of the PA scaffold.
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