Vector-induced NT-3 expression in rats promotes collateral growth of injured corticospinal tract axons far rostral to a spinal cord injury

N Weishaupt, A L O Mason, C Hurd, Z May, D C Zmyslowski, D Galleguillos, S Sipione, K Fouad
Neuroscience 2014 July 11, 272: 65-75
Rewiring the injured corticospinal tract (CST) by promoting connections between CST axons and spared neurons is a strategy being explored experimentally to achieve improved recovery of motor function after spinal cord injury (SCI). Reliable interventions to promote and direct growth of collaterals from injured CST axons are in high demand to promote functionally relevant detour pathways. A promising tool is neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), which has shown growth-stimulating and chemo-attractive effects for spared CST axons caudal to a CST lesion. Yet, efforts to promote growth of injured CST axons rostral to a SCI with NT-3 have been less successful to date. Evidence indicates that immune activation in the local growth environment, either intrinsic or induced by the endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS), can play a decisive role in the CST's responsiveness to NT-3. Here, we test the potential of NT-3 as a tool to enhance and direct collateral growth from the injured CST rostral to a SCI (1) using long-term expression of NT-3 by adeno-associated viral vectors, (2) with and without stimulating the immune system with LPS. Our results indicate that inducing a growth response from injured CST axons into a region of vector-mediated NT-3 expression is possible in the environment of the spinal cord rostral to a SCI, but seems dependent on the distance between the responding axon and the source of NT-3. Our findings also suggest that injured CST axons do not increase their growth response to NT-3 after immune activation with LPS in this environment. In conclusion, this is to our knowledge the first demonstration that NT-3 can be effective at promoting growth of injured CST collaterals far rostral to a SCI. Making NT-3 available in close proximity to CST target axons may be the key to success when using NT-3 to rewire the injured CST in future investigations.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"