Editors' ChoiceNeuroscience

Fixing Spinal Injury in Fish

Science's STKE  13 Jul 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 241, pp. tw257
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2412004tw257

The tragedies of spinal cord damage in humans would be much alleviated if spinal cord neurons could regenerate, but human neurons show great reluctance to do so. Restricting factors seem to be both intrinsic to the damaged neuron and extrinsic to the surrounding central nervous system (CNS) tissue. In zebrafish, the CNS seems to have less of the general repressive nature, but Mauthner neurons still cannot regenerate reliably. Bhatt et al. now find that application of cAMP (adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate) to the cell body of the Mauthner neuron in zebrafish induced its regeneration and restored Mauthner neuron-dependent behavioral responses.

D. H. Bhatt, S. J. Otto, B. Depoister, J. R. Fetcho, Cyclic AMP-induced repair of zebrafish spinal circuits. Science 305, 254-258 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]