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Neuron. 2002 Jun 13;34(6):895-903.

Spinal axon regeneration induced by elevation of cyclic AMP.

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Biology Department, Hunter College, City University of New York, 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Myelin inhibitors, including MAG, are major impediments to CNS regeneration. However, CNS axons of DRGs regenerate if the peripheral branch of these neurons is lesioned first. We show that 1 day post-peripheral-lesion, DRG-cAMP levels triple and MAG/myelin no longer inhibit growth, an effect that is PKA dependent. By 1 week post-lesion, DRG-cAMP returns to control, but growth on MAG/myelin improves and is now PKA independent. Inhibiting PKA in vivo blocks the post-lesion growth on MAG/myelin at 1 day and attenuates it at 1 week. Alone, injection of db-cAMP into the DRG mimics completely a conditioning lesion as DRGs grow on MAG/myelin, initially, in a PKA-dependent manner that becomes PKA independent. Importantly, DRG injection of db-cAMP results in extensive regeneration of dorsal column axons lesioned 1 week later. These results may be relevant to developing therapies for spinal cord injury.

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