[Truncated abstract] There is limited intrinsic potential for repair in the adult human central nervous system (CNS). Dysfunction resulting from CNS injury is persistent and requires prolonged medical treatment and rehabilitation. The retina and optic nerve are CNSderived, and adult retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and their axons are often used as a model in which to study the mechanisms associated with injury, neuroprotection and regeneration. In this study I investigated the effects of a variety of strategies on promoting RGC survival and axonal regeneration after optic nerve injury, including the use of reconstructed chimeric peripheral nerve (PN) grafts, gene therapy, and intraocular application of pharmacological agents and other factors . . . C3 transferase is an enzyme derived from Clostridium botulinum that inactivates Rho GTPase. Because SC myelin contains MAG and PN also contains CSPGs, I tested the effects of intraocular injection of a modified form of C3 (C3-11), provided by Dr Lisa McKerracher (CONFIDENTIAL data, under IP agreement with Bioaxone Therapeutic, Montreal) on RGC axonal regeneration into PN autografts. My results showed that there was significantly more RGC survival and axonal regeneration in PN autografts after repeated intraocular injection of C3. I also tested whether intraocular injections of CPT-cAMP and/or CNTF can act in concert with the C3 to further increase RGC survival and/or regeneration. Results showed that the effect of C3 and CPT-cAMP plus CNTF were synergistic and partially additive. The use of combination therapies therefore offers the best hope for robust and substantial regeneration. The overall results from my PhD project will help determine how best to reconstruct nerve pathways and use pharmacological interventions in the clinical treatment of CNS injury, hopefully leading to improved functional outcomes after neurotrauma.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2006|