ICVS researcher Nuno Silva saw his project “Activated Macrophages and Spinal Cord Injury Repair: The Secretome Effect” awarded 200,000 euros by the Wings for Life Foundation.
After spinal cord injury, the immune response is dysfunctional and an important contributor to secondary damage. Macrophages that infiltrate the spinal cord can acquire a series of activation states with different functionalities, ranging from the pro-inflammatory phenotype to the pro-regenerative phenotype. The microenvironment at the SCI site predominantly favors macrophage polarization towards the pro-inflammatory phenotype, which is one of the reasons why macrophage transplantation has failed.
The objective of this project is to evaluate the therapeutic potential of molecules produced by pro-regenerator macrophages. Instead of transplanting the cells, the therapeutic factors they produce will be injected, thus avoiding the loss of the phenotype of the transplanted cells due to local environmental stimuli.
The Wings for Life Foundation is a non-profit organization that funds scientific research around the world with the aim of finding effective treatments for spinal cord injury and improving the quality of life for patients affected by this condition.