04-18-2004, 08:51 PM
• Bomze HM, Bulsara KR, Iskandar BJ, Caroni P and Skene JH (2001). Spinal axon regeneration evoked by replacing two growth cone proteins in adult neurons. Nat Neurosci. 4: 38-43. Cogent Neuroscience, 4425 Ben Franklin Boulevard, Durham, North Carolina 27704, USA. In contrast to peripheral nerves, damaged axons in the mammalian brain and spinal cord rarely regenerate. Peripheral nerve injury stimulates neuronal expression of many genes that are not generally induced by CNS lesions, but it is not known which of these genes are required for regeneration. Here we show that co-expressing two major growth cone proteins, GAP-43 and CAP-23, can elicit long axon extension by adult dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons in vitro. Moreover, this expression triggers a 60-fold increase in regeneration of DRG axons in adult mice after spinal cord injury in vivo. Replacing key growth cone components, therefore, could be an effective way to stimulate regeneration of CNS axons.