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In-vivo single neuron axotomy triggers axon regeneration to restore synaptic density in specific cortical circuits


Canty, A and Huang, L and Jackson, JS and Little, GE and Knott, G and Maco, B and De Paola, V, In-vivo single neuron axotomy triggers axon regeneration to restore synaptic density in specific cortical circuits, Nature Communications , 4 Article 2038. ISSN 2041-1723 (2013) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

DOI: doi:10.1038/ncomms3038


To what extent, how and when axons respond to injury in the highly interconnected grey matter is poorly understood. Here we use two-photon imaging and focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy to explore, at synaptic resolution, the regrowth capacity of several neuronal populations in the intact brain. Time-lapse analysis of >100 individually ablated axons for periods of up to a year reveals a surprising inability to regenerate even in a glial scar-free environment. However, depending on cell type some axons spontaneously extend for distances unseen in the unlesioned adult cortex and at maximum speeds comparable to peripheral nerve regeneration. Regrowth follows a distinct pattern from developmental axon growth. Remarkably, although never reconnecting to the original targets, axons consistently form new boutons at comparable prelesion synaptic densities, implying the existence of intrinsic homeostatic programmes, which regulate synaptic numbers on regenerating axons. Our results may help guide future clinical investigations to promote functional axon regeneration.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Central nervous system
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Canty, A (Associate Professor Alison Canty)
ID Code:87024
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:105
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2013-11-06
Last Modified:2017-11-06
Downloads:144 View Download Statistics

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