Research NewsNeuroscience

Are Pushy Axons a Key to Spinal Cord Repair?

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Science  27 Jun 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5321, pp. 1971-1972
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5321.1971

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Unlike any higher vertebrate, a primitive fish called the sea lamprey can repair its spinal cord when it is severed. A new finding suggests that the regenerating axons owe their mobility to neurofilaments, rods of protein previously thought to play a purely supporting role in axon growth. While most axons are dragged to their destination by footlike extensions, the regenerating axons are apparently pushed forward by growing neurofilaments.