UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating condition which results in lifelong disability. To date there exists no treatment that can restore significant function to persons with SCI. We have previously demonstrated that a combinatory strategy of Schwann cell (SC) implantation and cyclic AMP elevation in a model of contusive SCI can significantly improve long-tract descending axon growth and lead to improved functional recovery. For these studies cyclic AMP was administered to the site of the lesion as this signaling molecule has been shown to allow axons to grow over inhibitory substrates such as myelin. However, cyclic AMP can also act at the site of the cell body, mediating transcriptional changes that are also important for promoting axon regeneration. The goal of the current studies was to determine the optimal location for elevating cyclic AMP after contusive SCI (axon, cell body or both) in SC as assessed by serotonergic axon growth and functional recovery.