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Undergrad probes regeneration of nerve cell branches

central nervous system resembled the immature neurons that could always do so.

He did this by testing rates of axon regeneration in the sciatic nerves of rats. Other scientists had shown that regeneration rates of axons outside the central nervous system could be increased by physically squashing another axon of the same nerve cell, a stimulus known as a conditioning lesion.

Were conditioning lesions activating the same regeneration mechanisms that the db cAMP used earlier by Hoffmans lab had activated? Han found they werent; in a direct comparison, db cAMP couldnt cause injured sciatic nerve axons to grow back as quickly as conditioning lesions could.

Although there are still many more unanswered questions about nerve cell regeneration in the central nervous system than answered questions, Hoffman said Han's results are an important step forward for researchers who hope to one day be able to develop new clinical treatments for optic disorders involving nerve degeneration or injury, or for spinal cord injuries.


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Contact: Michael Purdy
mcp@jhu.edu
410-516-7160
Johns Hopkins University
16-Mar-2002


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