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Nat Neurosci. 2010 Sep;13(9):1075-81. doi: 10.1038/nn.2603. Epub 2010 Aug 8.

PTEN deletion enhances the regenerative ability of adult corticospinal neurons.

Author information

  • 1F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, Children's Hospital, and Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

Despite the essential role of the corticospinal tract (CST) in controlling voluntary movements, successful regeneration of large numbers of injured CST axons beyond a spinal cord lesion has never been achieved. We found that PTEN/mTOR are critical for controlling the regenerative capacity of mouse corticospinal neurons. After development, the regrowth potential of CST axons was lost and this was accompanied by a downregulation of mTOR activity in corticospinal neurons. Axonal injury further diminished neuronal mTOR activity in these neurons. Forced upregulation of mTOR activity in corticospinal neurons by conditional deletion of Pten, a negative regulator of mTOR, enhanced compensatory sprouting of uninjured CST axons and enabled successful regeneration of a cohort of injured CST axons past a spinal cord lesion. Furthermore, these regenerating CST axons possessed the ability to reform synapses in spinal segments distal to the injury. Thus, modulating neuronal intrinsic PTEN/mTOR activity represents a potential therapeutic strategy for promoting axon regeneration and functional repair after adult spinal cord injury.

PMID:
20694004
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2928871
Free PMC Article

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