Can injured adult CNS axons regenerate by recapitulating development?
Hilton BJ, Bradke F
In the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS), neurons typically fail to regenerate their axons after injury. During development, by contrast, neurons extend axons effectively. A variety of intracellular mechanisms mediate this difference, including changes in gene expression, the ability to form a growth cone, differences in mitochondrial function/axonal transport and the efficacy of synaptic transmission. In turn, these intracellular processes are linked to extracellular differences between the developing and adult CNS. During development, the extracellular environment directs axon growth and circuit formation. In adulthood, by contrast, extracellular factors, such as myelin and the extracellular matrix, restrict axon growth. Here, we discuss whether the reactivation of developmental processes can elicit axon regeneration in the injured CNS.
© 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.