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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Jun 25;99(13):9031-6.

Inosine induces axonal rewiring and improves behavioral outcome after stroke.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Cerebral infarct (stroke) often causes devastating and irreversible losses of function, in part because of the brain's limited capacity for anatomical reorganization. The purine nucleoside inosine has previously been shown to induce neurons to express a set of growth-associated proteins and to extend axons in culture and in vivo. We show here that in adult rats with unilateral cortical infarcts, inosine stimulated neurons on the undamaged side of the brain to extend new projections to denervated areas of the midbrain and spinal cord. This growth was paralleled by improved performance on several behavioral measures.

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