Please enable JavaScript or talk to your local administrator to get JavaScript enabled.


Restoring motor axon circuits after spinal cord injury

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 300 K
Funding amount
Motor function depends on intact motor axon circuits, which are interrupted after spinal cord injury (SCI). Promoting regeneration of severed descending motor axons after SCI may support the restoration of damaged motor circuits. An intraspinal Schwann cell (SC) transplant elicits regeneration of motor axons, but these do not exit the transplant environment unless additional interventions are introduced. Facilitating motor axon growth from a SC transplant into the contiguous spinal cord may enable their integration into axon circuits that are either are directly involved in, or can be recruited for, motor function, which would support recovery after SCI. Here, we aim to facilitate growth of descending motor axons from a SC transplant into the contiguous spinal cord by promoting migration of transplanted SCs into the adjacent astrocytic scar and beyond thereby providing the axons with a cellular, growth-conducive, terrain. Transplanted SC motility is prevented at least in part by astrocytes. We propose to use 6-aminonicotinamide (6-AN) to specifically target astrocytes in the spinal cord adjacent to a SC transplant to enable SC migration. We have exciting preliminary data showing that 6-AN treatment just caudal from a SC transplant results in considerable exit of SCs into the adjacent spinal cord. Thus we now have in our hands a pharmacological, non-viral, glia-specific, tool to elicit SC migration and thus providing a growth-conducive trajectory to regenerating motor axons that may guide them out of a SC transplant into the contiguous spinal cord. Our central hypothesis is that the limited recovery in motor function after spinal cord injury is in part due to the lack of restoration of axonal circuits involved in motor function. The main objectives are to: 1) enhance our mechanistic knowledge of the effects of 6-AN on astrocyte and Schwann cell intermingling; and 2) develop an effective 6-AN-based approach to maximize SC migration from a SC transplant into the contiguous spinal cord. (CHN: SCIRTS chn:wdg)
Similar projects All >
Sorted by: Start Date
Project list item
Psychosocial, cognitive, and behavioral consequences of sleep-disordered breathing in SCI people

Craig H Neilsen Foundation to Julio Cesar Furlan, Mark I Boulos, Sander L Hitizg, B. Catharine Craven

USD 200,000
2019 - 2021
Project list item
Determining spinal alterations in sexual reflex control.

Craig H Neilsen Foundation to Lique Martina Coolen, James Walker Wiggins, Sid Gaikwad, James Walker Wiggins

USD 599,976
2019 - 2022
Project list item
Enhancing Healthcare for Women with Spinal Cord Injury through a Web-based Information Resource

Craig H Neilsen Foundation to Heather Taylor

USD 300,000
2018 - 2021
Project list item
Breastfeeding and Spinal Cord Injury: Establishing guidelines for health professionals and consumers

Craig H Neilsen Foundation to Andrei Krassioukov

USD 300,000
2018 - 2021
Project list item
Closing the Primary Care Gap: Building Healthcare Provider Capacity to Better Serve Women with SCI

Craig H Neilsen Foundation to Chloe Slocum

USD 276,345
2018 - 2021



    1109 Neurosciences

  • RCDC

    Injury (total) Accidents/Adverse Effects

  • RCDC

    Injury - Trauma - (Head and Spine)

  • RCDC

    Regenerative Medicine

  • RCDC


  • RCDC

    Spinal Cord Injury

  • RCDC


  • RCDC




  • Health Research Areas


  • Broad Research Areas

    Basic Science