Continual neurogenesis in the adult brain is now accepted to be an important occurrence. Although the significance of this is still under investigation, recent work suggests that ongoing neurogenesis is critical in maintenance of interneurone populations, plasticity in neuronal circuits and in learning and memory. In the spinal cord however, it is less clear whether there is the capability for neurogenesis to occur. Such a phenomenon would be extremely valuable in repair of spinal cord neuronal circuitry when damaged, for example following spinal cord injury or indeed following sensory or motor nerve injury.
We have evidence that we can induce cell proliferation in the spinal cord and this project will focus on how this occurs and what cells and mechanisms are involved. The project will use a combination of approaches that is likely to include immunohistochemistry, electrophysiology and slice culture.
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