Manipulating Corticospinal Growth State and Axon Guidance For Motor System Repair

John Martin, PhD
City University of NY
New York, New York

The aim of this proposal is to develop a novel strategy to repair the corticospinal tract (CST)after cervical spinal injury in the mouse. The CST is the principal motor control pathway for skilled voluntary movements. We will take a dual brain stimulation and genetic approach to repair the CST. We stimulate the motor cortex to activate a CST growth program to promote axon sprouting after injury. The genetic approach eliminates particular genes after SCI to help establish novel connections between the newly sprouted CST axons and spinal cord motor neurons. If successful, this will be the first SCI repair strategy to rebuild elements of the CST circuit after injury.