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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Research project: Investigating the Impact of Nervous System Maturation on Transmembrane Receptor Localisation and Transport in CNS Axons

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CNS maturation contributes significantly to providing a stable nervous system environment, but also prevents the CNS from repairing itself following damage.

Preliminary studies suggest that there is a defect in the localisation of exogenously expressed integrin receptors in adult central nervous system (CNS) axons in vivo.

Integrin receptors are required to induce regrowth in CNS axons due to the upregulation of extracellular matrix ligands within CNS lesions. This defect in axonal localisation is demonstrated by receptor expression limited only to the cell soma and dendrites, without indication of localisation within the axon. In contrast however, exogenous expression of integrin receptors in an early postnatal age shows expression and localisation within axons in vivo. At this age (within two weeks of birth), the CNS extracellular environment has not yet fully developed many of the extracellular specialisations that arise during maturation, namely myelination and the formation of specialised extracellular matrix called perineuronal nets which surround neuronal cell bodies.

Demyelination has been shown to increase mitochondrial transport in axons. The main aims of this study are to determine whether the presence of either myelin or perineuronal nets lead to an interruption in axonal localisation, expression, and transport of these receptors.

Principal Investigator: Dr Melissa Andrews
Funding: BBSRC
Funding dates: 1 March 2017 - 28 February 2021

Related research groups

Biomedical Sciences
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