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Gaudet, Andrew - Abstract

2008 Round 1 International Award
Conference: Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC


Galectin-1 facilitates macrophage accumulation in intact and injured peripheral nerves
Injury to the brain or spinal cord (central nervous system) is devastating in humans: nerve tracts in this region do not have the ability to regrow following injury, meaning that any damage sustained is permanent.  In contrast, peripheral nerves regenerate following injury.  It is important to uncover the factors that promote repair of injured peripheral nerves, in order to apply this knowledge to improve repair of the injured central nervous system.  One important factor that affects peripheral nerve repair is the immune cell response: these cells remove debris that can prevent regrowth of injured nerves and produce growth factors.

Galectin-1 is a protein that accelerates the regrowth of injured peripheral nerves in rodents, and therefore could be useful for treatment in humans.  We are interested in how galectin-1 improves recovery.  We found that galectin-1 recruits immune cells called macrophages following peripheral nerve injury. Galectin-1 is also sufficient to recruit these immune cells to the nerve in the absence of injury.  Therefore, galectin-1 may promote nerve repair by contributing to an effective immune cell response.

International Award Winners: Hewapathirane, S., Inskip, J., Mikhail, D., Mills, P., Ramer, L., Simonette, G., Yiu, J., Zwicker, J., Chen, S.,  Faradaji, F
National Award Winners: Beirnes, K., Bundon, A., Hume, A., Lige, S., Schiarti, V.