Antagonism of the p75 Neurotrophin Receptor promotes neurotrophin-mediated neural regeneration and plasticity within the injured spinal cord

Functional recovery following spinal cord injury is extremely limited, leaving individuals with limited mobility, autonomic dysfunction, and chronic pain. The lack of significant recovery following this type of injury reflects the failure of mature nerve fibres (axons) to regenerate and the incapacity of uninjured nerves to undergo compensatory growth (plasticity). Regeneration and plasticity are governed by a balance between growth-promoting and growth-prohibiting factors within the injured spinal cord. Neurotrophic factors and myelin-associated inhibitory proteins (MAlPs) both influence axonal growth through axonal receptor complexes that include the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR). MAIPs suppress axonal growth through p75NTR; neurotrophic factors augment axonal growth partly by inhibiting p75NTR. Angela Scott has found in past research that both the regeneration of injured axons and the plasticity of spared axons can be improved with the antagonism of p75NTR. Her current research explores the role of p75NTR following spinal cord injury. By determining the functional significance and clinical relevance of p75NTR antagonism, her work may lead to clinically relevant therapeutic treatments that improve functional recovery for people with spinal cord injuries.