Comparative gene expression profiling reveals the mechanisms of axon regeneration

FEBS J. 2021 Aug;288(16):4786-4797. doi: 10.1111/febs.15646. Epub 2020 Dec 9.


Axons are vulnerable to injury, potentially leading to degeneration or neuronal death. While neurons in the central nervous system fail to regenerate, neurons in the peripheral nervous system are known to regenerate. Since it has been shown that injury-response signal transduction is mediated by gene expression changes, expression profiling is a useful tool to understand the molecular mechanisms of regeneration. Axon regeneration is regulated by injury-responsive genes induced in both neurons and their surrounding non-neuronal cells. Thus, an experimental setup for the comparative analysis between regenerative and nonregenerative conditions is essential to identify ideal targets for the promotion of regeneration-associated genes and to understand the mechanisms of axon regeneration. Here, we review the original research that shows the key factors regulating axon regeneration, in particular by using comparative gene expression profiling in diverse systems.

Keywords: axon regeneration; comparative analysis; differential gene expression; gene expression profiling; nerve injury; transcriptome.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Nerve Regeneration / genetics*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / genetics