Regulation of developmental and regenerative processes in the spinal cord
Previous and Current Research
Our research interest is to understand the mechanisms of developmental and regenerative processes in the vertebrate spinal cord. Specifically, we are investigating motor neuron replacement and the beneficial roles of oligodendroglia in regeneration of the lesioned spinal cord.
Our aim is to identify signal transduction pathways which play key roles in the functional recovery after spinal cord lesions.
For our experiments we use zebrafish. They are ideal to study spinal cord injury in an adult vertebrate as they successfully regain function after complete spinal cord transection, accompanied by axonal and neuronal regeneration and a complex microglial/immune system response.
Future Projects and Goals
- Identification of novel signals which increase neuronal and glial proliferation and maturation into functionally active neurons and oligodendrocytes.
- Assessment of the behavioural impact of demyelination after genetic ablation of mature oligodendrocytes.
- Assessment of beneficial roles of oligodendroglia for functional recovery after spinal cord injury.
- Dissection of the role of Schwann cells in remyelination of the injured spinal cord.
Methodological and Technical Expertise
- In-situ hybridisation
- Fluorescent immunohistochemistry
- Spinal cord lesion model in zebrafish
- In vivo drug screens
- Advanced imaging
Wishart T.M.*, Mutsaers C.A.*, Riessland M.*, Reimer M.M.*, Hunter G.*, Hannam M.L., Eaton S.L., Fuller H.R., Roche S.L., Somers E., Morse R., Young P.J., Lamont D.J., Hammerschmidt M., Joshi A., Hohenstein P., Morris G.E., Parson S.H., Skehel P.A., Becker T., Robinson I.M., Becker C.G., Wirth B., Gillingwater T.H.
Dysregulation of ubiquitin homeostasis and β-catenin signaling promote spinal muscular atrophy.
J Clin Invest. 2014 Mar 3. pii: 71318. doi: 10.1172/JCI71318. (2014) (*These authors contributed equally)
Reimer M.M., Norris A., Patani R., Zhong Z., Ohnmacht J., Dias T.B., Kuscha V., Scott A.L., Chen Y., Frazer S.L., Wyatt C., Higashijma S., Patton L., Panula P., Chandran S., Becker T., Becker C.G.
Dopamine from the brain promotes spinal motor neuron generation during development and adult regeneration.
Developmental Cell, Volume 25, Issue 5, 478–491 (2013)
Reimer M.M., McQueen J., Searcy L., Scullion G., Zonta B., Desmazieres A., Holland P.R., Smith J., Gliddon C., Wood E., Herzyk P., Brophy P., McCulloch J., Horsburgh K.
Rapid disruption of axon-glial integrity in response to mild cerebral hypoperfusion
J Neurosci. 31:18185–94. (2011)
Reimer M.M., Kuscha V., Wyatt C., Sörensen I., Frank R.E., Knüwer M., Becker T., Becker C.G.
Sonic hedgehog is a polarized signal for motor neuron regeneration in adult zebrafish.
J Neurosci. 29:15073–82 (2009)
Reimer M.M., Sörensen I., Frank R.E., Chong, L., Becker C.G.*, Becker T.*
Motor neuron regeneration in adult zebrafish.
J Neurosci. 28:8510–16 (2008)