LONDON — Neuroglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein present mainly in neurons of the brain, offers a new target for protection against stroke or other ischaemic insult to the brain, with new research showing that its' level respond to ischaemic injury.

In a recent study, cultured mouse neurons responded to hypoxia by making more neuroglobin, and mice with stroke-like ischaemic injuries demonstrated increased production of the neuroglobin protein. Based on these findings, David Greenberg and colleagues at the Buck Institute for Age Research, Novato, California, concluded that neuroglobin expression increases in response to hypoxic/ischaemic injury. The results of their study, aimed at elucidating the function of neuroglobin, were released online on 11 December 2001, prior to publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:15306-15311).

The study also showed that neurons that made more neuroglobin than normal were more resistant to...

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