Gangliosides as Modulators of Neuronotrophic Interactions
Basic neurobiological research has recently reconsidered the capability of the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS) neurons to undergo adaptive functional and morphological modifications in response to external noxious perturbations (Tsukahara, 1981; Cotman and Nieto-Sampedro, 1984). This new interest mainly stems from lesion and transplantation experiments documenting an unprecedented inherent plasticity of the mature CNS neurons following brain damage. The lesioned axons are now known to possess the ability to regrow when growth-promoting signals and substrates are introduced into their environment (Richardson et al., 1980; Kromer et al., 1981). In addition, a growing number of studies have provided evidence for a naturally occurring sprouting ability of intact axons following partial deafferentation (Cotman and Nieto-Sampedro, 1984). Yet loss of neuronal connectivity and function are still today common consequences of brain damage in the adult. What is critically needed is the comprehension of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying mature CNS plasticity following injury and its relationship to repair. Hopefully, this will in the near future provide novel ways for ameliorating the outcome following brain injury.
KeywordsNerve Growth Factor Brain Damage Central Nervous System Neuron Neuronal Cell Survival Mature Central Nervous System
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