Valerie Castellani, Universität Lyon, Lyon, France

Guidance molecules and axon regeneration

Funded in: 2006, 2007

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During the development of the central nervous system, developing nerve cells navigate to their proper destination via so called “guidance“ molecules. Some of them reappear after injury and may block nerve outgrowth one of these cues, which may halt the growth of severed nerve fibres, is the “guidance” molecule semaphorin III. Recently, however, it has been questioned whether semaphorin III actually only inhibits nerve growth or whether it might even be able to promote it. This is because it has been shown that semaphorin III plays an important role in the development of nerve cells and that it is not only formed on the severed portion of the nerve fibres, but also on the cell body (soma) of injured nerve cells. This project studies the role of semaphorin III in the injured nerve. For this purpose, semaphorin III formation in mice is intentionally either suppressed or stimulated genetically.