Ana-Mara Buga

University of Medicine and Pharmacy Craiova, Molecular Medicine Department

Craiova, Romania

Ana-Mara Buga


Identification of axonal growth-relevant genes in the aged post-stroke brain


Old age is associated with an enhanced susceptibility to systemic disorders and poor recovery from brain injuries. Therefore the overall goal of the project is the identification of molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to failure of axonal regeneration after a brain injury in aged animals. The goal of regenerative medicine is to restore the structures that are lost or damaged after disease, or ageing. In mammals, once development has finished, it is generally the case that an organ cannot regenerate following acute or chronic damage disease. This is despite the fact that these organs have grown in size from birth to adulthood due to the presence of residual stem cells which divide very slowly to permit growth. Such stem cells are clearly not normally capable of permitting regeneration. One factor involved in the loss of regenerative ability that stem cells lose self renewal capacity and function during aging. This in turn likely impacts on the decline in organ maintenance and regeneration during aging. Another factor is the imposition of inhibitory factors in the local environment .These factors prevent the maintenance of cellular plasticity. Here, we hypothesize that regenerating tissues can restart developmental signalling pathways that were active during ontogenesis. In contrast, tissues that cannot regenerate lack such programmes in aged systems. Aged neurons lost the growth and regenerative potential.  By using an integrated molecular biological bioinformational and in vitro approach this proposal aims at:

- creating an age-specific database using genome wide analysis of regeneration associated genes to identify genetic pathways associated with axonal growth/inhibition in response to injuries to the aged central nervous system. It is crucially important to take these results to a functional level.

 - relate genome changes to demonstrable age-related changes in the activity of a number of functional pathway that regulate viability and survival and regeneration.

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