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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Aug 14;109(33):E2230-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1204386109. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

A role for ephrin-A5 in axonal sprouting, recovery, and activity-dependent plasticity after stroke.

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Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Stroke causes loss of neurological function. Recovery after stroke is facilitated by forced use of the affected limb and is associated with sprouting of new connections, a process that is sharply confined in the adult brain. We show that ephrin-A5 is induced in reactive astrocytes in periinfarct cortex and is an inhibitor of axonal sprouting and motor recovery in stroke. Blockade of ephrin-A5 signaling using a unique tissue delivery system induces the formation of a new pattern of axonal projections in motor, premotor, and prefrontal circuits and mediates recovery after stroke in the mouse through these new projections. Combined blockade of ephrin-A5 and forced use of the affected limb promote new and surprisingly widespread axonal projections within the entire cortical hemisphere ipsilateral to the stroke. These data indicate that stroke activates a newly described membrane-bound astrocyte growth inhibitor to limit neuroplasticity, activity-dependent axonal sprouting, and recovery in the adult.

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