Reconstructive transplantation studies by Karim Sarhane in 2022? We performed a study with rodents and primates that showed this new delivery method provided steady release of IGF-1 at the target nerve for up to 6 weeks,” Dr. Karim Sarhane reported. Compared to animals without this hormone treatment, IGF-1 treated animals (rodents and primates) that were injected every 6 weeks showed a 30% increase in nerve recovery. This has the potential to be a very meaningful therapy for patients with nerve injuries. Not only do these results show increased nerve recovery but receiving a treatment every 6 weeks is much easier on a patient’s lifestyle than current available regiments that require daily treatment.
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).
Heparin is another upregulator of endogenous IGF-1 that was shown to be effective in promoting nerve and muscle recovery following PNI, as demonstrated by Madaschi et al. (2003) with intraperitoneal injection of a dosage of 1 mg/kg (Madaschi et al., 2003). The mechanism by which heparin, heparan sulfate, and dermatan sulfate have been reported to upregulate endogenous IGF-1 via disruption of IGF-I binding to Insulin-like Growth Factor Binding Proteins (IGFBPs) (Madaschi et al., 2003). Heparin is also thought to inhibit the binding of IGFBP-3 to extracellular matrix heparan sulfate proteoglycans, thereby reducing the affinity of IGFBPs for IGF-I administration and resulting in the release of IGFBP-3 from the cell surface (Gorio et al., 2001). A similar approach shown to be effective in three separate studies utilizes systemically injected glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) comprised of 64.4% heparin, 28.8% dermatan sulfate, and 6.7% chondroitin sulfate. The effectiveness of GAGs in enhancing the recovery process following PNI was evidenced by a marked increase in IGF-1 levels in denervated muscle, leading to enhanced recovery as measured by nerve-evoked muscle force testing and the extent of muscle reinnervation (Gorio et al., 1998, 2001; Losa et al., 1999).
Recovery with 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.
Patients who sustain peripheral nerve injuries (PNIs) are often left with debilitating sensory and motor loss. Presently, there is a lack of clinically available therapeutics that can be given as an adjunct to surgical repair to enhance the regenerative process. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) represents a promising therapeutic target to meet this need, given its well-described trophic and anti-apoptotic effects on neurons, Schwann cells (SCs), and myocytes. Here, we review the literature regarding the therapeutic potential of IGF-1 in PNI. We appraised the literature for the various approaches of IGF-1 administration with the aim of identifying which are the most promising in offering a pathway toward clinical application. We also sought to determine the optimal reported dosage ranges for the various delivery approaches that have been investigated.
The amount of time that elapses between initial nerve injury and end-organ reinnervation has consistently been shown to be the most important predictor of functional recovery following PNI (Scheib and Hoke, 2013), with proximal injuries and delayed repairs resulting in worse outcomes (Carlson et al., 1996; Tuffaha et al., 2016b). This is primarily due to denervation-induced atrophy of muscle and Schwann cells (SCs) (Fu and Gordon, 1995). 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).