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Project

The role of spinal estrogen signaling for post-SCI neuroplasticity

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 300 K
Funding amount
Abstract
Estrogen, the most abundant and powerful sex hormone in females, plays a critical role in the development of spinal neuroplasticity, a form of spinal learning that can strengthen the neural output to skeletal muscles. Here we provide evidence that development of neuroplasticity in the spinal circuits controlling the diaphragm, our most important respiratory muscle, requires estrogen signaling in the spinal cord of both females and males. Following cervical SCI, our ability to induce this respiratory plasticity is generally reduced or absent until more chronic time points, when partial spontaneous recovery of plasticity is observed. Since SCI also results in a drastic, but ultimately transient, reduction of circulating sex hormones in both females and males, we hypothesize that the observed spontaneous recovery of respiratory neuroplasticity in chronic SCI will depend on the restoration of spinal estrogen activity. Further, since estrogen is necessary for the expression of neuroplasticity in uninjured rats and estrogen levels are reduced immediately after SCI, we hypothesize that restoring spinal estrogen activity during the sub-acute SCI recovery period will re-establish our ability to induce respiratory neuroplasticity. Results from these fundamental, basic science studies will significantly expand our understanding of the role of sex hormone activity in recovery of respiratory function after SCI and may reveal novel estrogen-related drug targets to enhance our ability to induce plasticity at earlier stages of SCI recovery. (CHN: SCIRTS chn:wdg)
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System

Categories
  • FOR (ANZSRC)

    1103 Clinical Sciences

  • FOR (ANZSRC)

    1109 Neurosciences

  • RCDC

    Injury (total) Accidents/Adverse Effects

  • RCDC

    Injury - Trauma - (Head and Spine)

  • RCDC

    Estrogen

  • RCDC

    Neurosciences

  • RCDC

    Lung

  • RCDC

    Spinal Cord Injury

  • RCDC

    Neurodegenerative

  • Health Research Areas

    Biomedical

  • Broad Research Areas

    Basic Science