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Making the best of a bad toxin.

Making the best of a bad toxin

Few compounds bind to nerve endings as well as tetanus toxin. Put the poisonous protein almost anywhere in the body and it will find a peripheral nerve ending, then travel inside nerve cells to the central nervous system, where it eventually can lead to death. Paul S. Fishman and his colleagues at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore took a nontoxic fragment of the tetanus toxin, bound it to an immune-system protein, and traced the hybrid compound as it moved from peripheral nerve endings into the central nervous system and brain. Fishman and others say the technique may be an excellent way of getting immune proteins into the spinal cord and brain -- usually isolated from disease-fighting antibodies by the "blood-brain barrier."
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Title Annotation:use of tetanus toxin to get immune proteins into spinal cord and brain
Author:Weiss, Rick
Publication:Science News
Date:Dec 3, 1988
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