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Botulinum neurotixins (BoNTs), causative agent of botulism, are the most potent natural toxins mainly produced by bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which is a Gram-positive, rod-shaped and obligate anaerobe. BoNT serotypes A and B are wildely used as pharmaceuticals to treat diverse neurological diseases and for cosmetic purpose. To date, gold standard essay for a measurement of BoNTs` Potency is the mouse LD50 (50% lethal dose) bioassay. This is the only potency assay approved by the FDA. Mouse LD50 bioassay, however, causes not only large error but high cost, and it also requires large number of mice and trained person who handles the procedure. In this reason, there is a need to develop a reliable assay in order to replace the mouse LD50 assay. An alternative assay capable of including full biological activity of BoNTs is cell based assay. In this review, we will summarize advantages and limitations of various BoNTs potency assays, focusing on cell based assays.
Pain is the general symptom encountered in a diversity of diseases. Although pain mechanisms are nor fully understood, hyperexcitability of primary sensory neurons can lead to abnormal burst associated with pain. After injury to their axons, sensory neurons can show excitability by increased voltage-gated sodium ion channel expression and abnormal accumulation. Therefore, sodium channel blockers may be effective analgesics in the management of pain such as neuropathic pain, Also, tetrodotoxin (TTX), non-peptide neurotoxin produced by bacteria living within organs of marine organism such as puffer fish, is a potent sodium ion channel blocker, and thus, TTX is a promising material for the treatment of various types of pain. In this review, we will summarize the biological properties of sodium ion channel and subtype specific sodium ion channel blockers, and finally review the TTX research in pain relief.
Neural stem/progenitor cells can be differentiated or derived from various sources including pluripotent stem cells, feral brain and adult brain. Furthermore, properties of neural stem/progenitor cells can be maintained for prolonged period in vitro, and these cells are promising tools for understanding brain development and adult neurogenesis as well as cell replacement of damaged neural cells in neurodegenerative disorders. Here, we review the biological properties and culture methods of neural stem/progenitor cells derived from different sources and briefly introduce examples of clinical trials using neural stem cells.
In people aged 65 years or older, approximately 50% of them are suffering from some degree of hearing loss. However, this disability is not restricted to the elderly. Hearing loss is mostly the result of degeneration of inner ear cells such as cochlea hair cells and sensory neurons, and incurable because loss of the cells is irreversible as of now. Currently, hearing aids and cochlear implants are available for treatment of hearing loss. But, they are not completely to cover various patterns of hearing loss. Recently, cell replacement therapies using stem cells hold the promise for a cure of hearing loss. In this review, we will discuss the hearing loss, ear structure and introduce current insights of research in cell replacement therapy for treatment of the hearing loss.