The embryonic CNS readily undergoes regeneration, unlike the adult CNS, which has limited axonal repair after injury. Here we tested the hypothesis that retinoic acid receptor beta2 (RARbeta2), critical in development for neuronal growth, may enable adult neurons to grow in an inhibitory environment. Overexpression of RARbeta2 in adult rat dorsal root ganglion cultures increased intracellular levels of cyclic AMP and stimulated neurite outgrowth. Stable RARbeta2 expression in DRG neurons in vitro and in vivo enabled their axons to regenerate across the inhibitory dorsal root entry zone and project into the gray matter of the spinal cord. The regenerated neurons enhanced second-order neuronal activity in the spinal cord, and RARbeta2-treated rats showed highly significant improvement in sensorimotor tasks. These findings show that RARbeta2 induces axonal regeneration programs within injured neurons and may thus offer new therapeutic opportunities for CNS regeneration.
|Translated title of the contribution||The transcription factor retinoic acid receptor β2 promotes functional regeneration of sensory axons into the adult rat spinal cord|
|Pages (from-to)||243 - 250|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2006|