Fan Wang, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, USA

Accelerating axon growth – Calcineurin/NFATc pathway

Funded in: 2007, 2008, 2009

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The ability of neuron to regenerate after an injury drastically decreases in adult organisms. The mechanisms responsible for this decline remain largely unknown. The team lading this project previously found that a special pathway (called Calcineurin/NFATc) is required in embryonic neurons for a rapid extension. The molecules involved in this pathway dramatically decrease in adult organisms and it is very likely that they are partly responsible for the failed regeneration seen in adult spinal cord. This project will evaluate the role of this specific pathway in the regeneration of adult neurons and will aim in the end at enhancing its activity to promote functional regeneration.