Nerve Regeneration

ABOUT

We are interested in characterising pathways that control axon growth during development, and axon degeneration and regeneration following injury and disease. We have a special focus on studying the axonal cytoskeleton organisation and dynamics, and axonal trafficking.

 

RESEARCH

Neurons, one of the most striking examples of polarization in eukaryotic cells, are dependent on cytoskeleton dynamics and trafficking to establish their distinctive cell shape and function. Understanding the basic neuronal cell biology is crucial to unravel the causes of neurodegeneration, and to develop strategies to promote axon regeneration.

 

Research in our group has currently the following main topics:

- Characterise the biogenesis and function of the axonal membrane periodic skeleton;

- Understand cytoskeleton dynamics and trafficking during axon regeneration;

- Identify cytoskeleton alterations underlying neurodegeneration;

- Identify the determinants of the central-peripheral polarity of dorsal root ganglia neurons.

 

Our work brings together in vitro neuronal cell culture systems, and in vivo mouse and rat models, including the model of spinal cord injury and models of rare neurodegenerative disorders (Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy and Amyloid-related neuropathies). These models combined with genetic strategies, cell biology and biochemical approaches, and state-of-the-art microscopy, allow us to advance our knowledge on the mechanisms that regulate axon growth, degeneration and regeneration.

STED nanoscopy; beta-II spectrin immunofluorescence, hippocampal neuron