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J Biomed Res. 2010 Jan;24(1):2-5. doi: 10.1016/S1674-8301(10)60002-4.

Intrinsic control of axon regeneration.

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F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, Children's Hospital, and Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Spinal cord injury disrupts the connections between the brain and spinal cord, often resulting in the loss of sensory and motor function below the lesion site. The most important reason for such permanent functional deficits is the failure of injured axons to regenerate after injury. In principle, the functional recovery could be achieved by two forms of axonal regrowth: the regeneration of lesioned axons which will reconnect with their original targets and the sprouting of spared axons that form new circuits and compensate for the lost function. Our recent studies reveal the activity of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, a major regulator of new protein synthesis, as a critical determinant of axon regrowth in the adult retinal ganglion neurons[1]. In this review, I summarize current understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control the intrinsic regenerative ability of mature neurons.

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