Neurochemical Research

, Volume 44, Issue 9, pp 2057–2067 | Cite as

Identification of Key Genes and Pathways Involved in the Heterogeneity of Intrinsic Growth Ability Between Neurons After Spinal Cord Injury in Adult Zebrafish

  • Haitao Fu
  • Gonghai Han
  • Haojiang Li
  • Xuezhen Liang
  • Die Hu
  • Licheng ZhangEmail author
  • Peifu TangEmail author
Original Paper


In the adult central nervous system (CNS), axon regeneration is a major hurdle for functional recovery after trauma. The intrinsic growth potential of an injured axon varies widely between neurons. The underlying molecular mechanisms of such heterogeneity are largely unclear. In the present study, the adult zebrafish dataset GSE56842 were downloaded. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were sorted and deeply analyzed by bioinformatics methods. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis of DEGs were performed with the DAVID. A DEGs-associated protein–protein interaction network was constructed from the STRING database and visualized with Cytoscape software. In total, 621 DEGs were identified. GO analysis showed that the biological processes of DEGs focused mainly on the Notch signaling pathway, cell differentiation and positive regulation of neuron differentiation. The molecular functions mainly included calcium-transporting ATPase activity and calcium ion binding and structural constituents of the cytoskeleton. The cellular components included the plasma membrane, spectrin, and cytoplasmic and membrane-bound vesicles. KEGG pathway analysis showed that these DEGs were mainly involved in the metabolic pathway and Notch signaling pathway, and subnetworks revealed that genes within modules were involved in the metabolic pathway, Wnt signaling pathway, and calcium signaling pathway. This study identified DEG candidate genes and pathways involved in the heterogeneity of the intrinsic growth ability between neurons after spinal cord injury in adult zebrafish, which could facilitate our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying axon regeneration, and these candidate genes and pathways could be therapeutic targets for the treatment of CNS injury.


Axon regeneration Bioinformatical analysis Differentially expressed genes Intrinsic growth ability Spinal cord injury 



This work is Supported by National Natural Foundation of China (No. 81520108017).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of MedicineNankai UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedicsthe General Hospital of Chinese People’s Liberation ArmyBeijingChina
  3. 3.Kunming Medical UniversityKunmingChina
  4. 4.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyShanxi Medical UniversityTaiyuanChina
  5. 5.The First Clinical Medical SchoolShandong University of Traditional Chinese MedicineShandongChina
  6. 6.Qingdao Eye HospitalShandong Eye Institute, Shandong Academy of Medical SciencesQingdaoChina

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