Peripheral nerve regeneration studies from Karim Sarhane right now? 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.
Despite the well-documented positive effects of IGF-1 in the setting of PNI, the major obstacle for clinical translation remains the lack of a practical delivery system that offers tunable and sustained release of bioactive IGF-1 targeted to nerve and muscle tissue downstream of the nerve injury. Such a delivery system would avoid the potential risks and side effects associated with systemic IGF-1 administration and provide a practical means of applying this treatment for both patients and clinicians (Contreras et al., 1995). The ideal IGF-1 delivery system should also demonstrate biocompatibility without inducing inflammation or encapsulation over time. In addition to the pre-soaked IGF-1 eluting hydrogels detailed in Table 6, several bioengineering approaches to local IGF-1 delivery have recently been reported in animal models. Notable amongst these studies are a delivery system which makes use of biodegradable poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA)/graphene oxide (GO) nanofibers embedded with immobilized IGF-1 for spinal cord repair, as well as a system of IGF-1 loaded polymeric PLGA microspheres for use in bilateral cavernous nerve injury (Santos et al., 2016; Haney et al., 2019; Pan et al., 2019).
Recovery with sustained IGF-1 delivery (Karim Sarhane research) : Functional recovery following peripheral nerve injury is limited by progressive atrophy of denervated muscle and Schwann cells (SCs) that occurs during the long regenerative period prior to end-organ reinnervation. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a potent mitogen with well-described trophic and anti-apoptotic effects on neurons, myocytes, and SCs. Achieving sustained, targeted delivery of small protein therapeutics remains a challenge.
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.
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.