Urs Stephen Rutishauser: Repair of Neural Tissue

Most regions of the central nervous system (CNS) have a limited capacity for repair, largely due to the inability of damaged axons to grow back to their targets. During development, PSA facilitates this process, and because most regions of the adult CNS no longer express PSA, we are conducting studies to determine if viral delivery of PSA-synthetic capability into regions of nerve damage could facilitate the restoration of connections. Preliminary studies on this delivery system have revealed that ectopic PSA can disrupt glial cell interactions, which suggests that it might help to reduce the impact of glial scars known to inhibit the passage of axons.