Top sustained IGF-1 delivery studies by Karim Sarhane

Reconstructive transplantation studies by Karim Sarhane today? Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a hormone produced by the body that has the potential to be used as a treatment for nerve injuries. IGF-1 may help heal nerve injuries by decreasing inflammation and buildup of damaging products. Additionally, it may speed up nerve healing and reduce the effects of muscle weakness from the injury. However, a safe, effective, and practical way is needed to get IGF-1 to the injured nerve.

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.

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 (, 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 with sustained IGF-1 delivery (Karim Sarhane research) : To realize the therapeutic potential of IGF-1 treatment for PNIs, we designed, optimized, and characterized a novel local delivery system for small proteins using a new FNP-based encapsulation method that offers favorable encapsulation efficiency with retained bioactivity and a sustained release profile for over 3 weeks. The IGF-1 NPs demonstrated favorable in vivo release kinetics with high local loading levels of IGF-1 within target muscle and nerve tissue.

Research efforts to improve PNI outcomes have primarily focused on isolated processes, including the acceleration of intrinsic axonal outgrowth and maintenance of the distal regenerative environment. In order to maximize functional recovery, a multifaceted therapeutic approach that both limits the damaging effects of denervation atrophy on muscle and SCs and accelerates axonal regeneration is needed. A number of promising potential therapies have been under investigation for PNI. Many such experimental therapies are growth factors including glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), and brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (Fex Svenningsen and Kanje, 1996; Lee et al., 2007; Gordon, 2009). Tacrolimus (FK506), delivered either systemically or locally, has also shown promise in a number of studies (Konofaos and Terzis, 2013; Davis et al., 2019; Tajdaran et al., 2019).

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).