AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 3, 2017

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Mobilizing Mitochondria May be Key to Regenerating Damaged Neurons

In order to extend their axons long distances throughout the entire body, neurons need large amounts of energy. This energy is in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The ATP needed is provided by mitochondria. These mitochondria are very active during development. However, they become less mobile when adults mature causing the neurons to produce a protein called syntaphilin. This protein anchors the mitochondria in place. This immobility may be able to explain why damaged adult neurons are unable to grow after injury.”Our in vivo and in vitro studies suggest that activating an intrinsic growth program requires the coordinated modulation of mitochondrial transport and recovery of energy deficits. Such combined approaches may represent a valid therapeutic strategy to facilitate regeneration in the central and peripheral nervous systems after injury or disease,” Sheng says. To read more, click here.

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