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Viral tools for mapping and modulating neural networks after spinal cord injury. Exp Neurol 2022 May;351:113995



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Repairing the damaged neural networks in traumatic spinal cord injury presents a difficult challenge for neuroscientists. While significant progress has been made in therapeutic strategies for SCI, research is hindered by the complicated organization of the spinal cord, the diverse molecular mechanisms of neurotrauma, and the innate lack of regenerative ability of neurons. A promising therapeutic approach involves using viral strategies to promote regeneration and rewiring of the injured spinal cord. In this special issue of Experimental Neurology, Metcalf et al., demonstrates how retrogradely traveling adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors (rAAV-retro) can be used to target multiple brain regions that synapse in the spinal cord with a single injection strategy. This study demonstrates the unique potential of rAAV-retro to simultaneously deliver genetic cargo to promote axonal regeneration in the various pathways disrupted after spinal cord injury. Future studies will further our understanding of how best to utilize these viral strategies to repair the injured spinal cord and promote functional recovery.

Author List

Schrank S, Satkunendrarajah K


Kajana Satkunendrarajah PhD Assistant Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Nerve Regeneration
Recovery of Function
Spinal Cord
Spinal Cord Injuries