Alain Chédotal, Equipe Development Neuronal CNRS, Paris, France

“New” semaphorins (6a and 4d) as stop signs blocking nerve regeneration

Funded in: 2006, 2007, 2008

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The myelin sheath - i.e. the protective layer surrounding the nerve cells - contains proteins which inhibit nerve growth. Regeneration of injured nerve fibres is prevented by their presence. Recently, two new growth-inhibiting proteins have been discovered: semaphorin 4D and semaphorin 6A. The role of these two proteins on nerve outgrow is studied in this project with nerve cell cultures. In addition, the project operates with “double knockouts”, i.e. in which semaphorin 4D and 6A are genetically shut off. The study aims to investigate whether modification of this two factors could improve regeneration of the affected nerve fibres.