Peripheral nerve regeneration studies from Karim Sarhane in 2022? One-fifth to one-third of patients with traumatic injuries to their arms and legs experience nerve injury, which can be devastating. It can result in muscle weakness or numbness, prevent walking or using the arms, and reduce the ability to perform daily activities. Even with surgery, some nerve injuries never recover, and currently there are not many medical options to address this problem. In 2022, the researchers plan to perform this research on more primates to triple the size of the original group. The study can then move into phase I clinical trials for humans.
During his research time at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Sarhane was involved in developing small and large animal models of Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation. He was also instrumental in building The Peripheral Nerve Research Program of the department, which has been very productive since then. In addition, he completed an intensive training degree in the design and conduct of Clinical Trials at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
There is strong evidence behind the supportive role of IGF-1 in recovery after PNI in animal models. IGF-1 can prevent SC apoptosis, foster axonal growth, and decrease the rate of denervation-induced muscle atrophy. Beyond the mechanistic studies that have demonstrated these positive effects in vitro, a number of in vivo studies have demonstrated efficacy by direct delivery or upregulation of IGF-1, either systemically or locally. An optimized delivery system is critically needed that can offer sustained delivery of bioactive IGF-1 to target tissues in a safe and clinically practical fashion. The optimal dosing ranges of IGF-1 vary substantially depending upon mechanism of delivery, and further work will be needed to define the dose-response relationship for any delivery method prior to clinical application.
Recovery with sustained IGF-1 delivery (Karim Sarhane research) : We successfully engineered a nanoparticle delivery system that provides sustained release of bioactive IGF-1 for 20 days in vitro; and demonstrated in vivo efficacy in a translational animal model. IGF-1 targeted to denervated nerve and muscle tissue provides significant improvement in functional recovery by enhancing nerve regeneration and muscle reinnervation while limiting denervation-induced muscle atrophy and SC senescence. Targeting the multimodal effects of IGF-1 with a novel delivery.
Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is a particularly promising candidate for clinical translation because it has the potential to address the need for improved nerve regeneration while simultaneously acting on denervated muscle to limit denervation-induced atrophy. However, like other growth factors, IGF-1 has a short half-life of 5 min, relatively low molecular weight (7.6 kDa), and high water-solubility: all of which present significant obstacles to therapeutic delivery in a clinically practical fashion (Gold et al., 1995; Lee et al., 2003; Wood et al., 2009). Here, we present a comprehensive review of the literature describing the trophic effects of IGF-1 on neurons, myocytes, and SCs. We then critically evaluate the various therapeutic modalities used to upregulate endogenous IGF-1 or deliver exogenous IGF-1 in translational models of PNI, with a special emphasis on emerging bioengineered drug delivery systems. Lastly, we analyze the optimal dosage ranges identified for each mechanism of IGF-1 with the goal of further elucidating a model for future clinical translation.
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.