Axonal regeneration

Santiago Ramón y Cajal made several fundamental observations that have defined the perception of axonal regeneration in the central nervous system (CNS) of the past decades. While during development and in the peripheral nervous system, regeneration of nerve fibers does occur, in the adult CNS they do not regenerate. Right after injury, transected axons in the brain and spinal cord extend short distances, but shortly afterwards regeneration is halted and growth cones turn into retraction bulbs (Cajal, 1928). Our laboratory tries to envisage new ways to coax axons towards regeneration using models of crush- and transection-injury of the spinal cord, with special focus on the interaction with the immune system and on the transected axons themselves.

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