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Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)

Mouse studies suggest activating EGFR could improve outcomes following neonatal brain injury. Chronic hypoxia is a clinically relevant model of premature brain injury caused by insufficient gas exchange due to poor lung development. In mice with chronic hypoxia, oligodendrocyte-specific overexpression of EGFR after brain injury induced oligodendrocyte functional recovery and decreased oligodendrocyte death and white matter-dependent behavioral deficits compared with no overexpression. In the hypoxic mice, intranasal administration of an activating EGFR ligand, heparin-binding EGF, led to similar results. Next steps could include testing intranasally delivered heparin-binding EGF in additional brain injury models.

SciBX 7(3); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.96
Published online Jan. 23, 2014

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Scafidi, J. et al. Nature;
published online Dec. 25, 2013;
Contact: Vittorio Gallo, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.