Transient activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling reporter in fibrotic scar formation after compression spinal cord injury in adult mice

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Abstract

After traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI), a scar may form with a fibrotic core (fibrotic scar) and surrounding reactive astrocytes (glial scar) at the lesion site. The scar tissue is considered a major obstacle preventing regeneration both as a physical barrier and as a source for secretion of inhibitors of axonal regeneration. Understanding the mechanism of scar formation and how to control it may lead to effective SCI therapies. Using a compression-SCI model on adult transgenic mice, we demonstrate that the canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling reporter TOPgal (TCF/Lef1-lacZ) positive cells appeared at the lesion site by 5 days, peaked on 7 days, and diminished by 14 days post injury. Using various representative cell lineage markers, we demonstrate that, these transiently TOPgal positive cells are a group of Fibronectin(+);GFAP(−) fibroblast-like cells in the core scar region. Some of them are proliferative. These results indicate that Wnt/β-catenin signaling may play a key role in fibrotic scar formation after traumatic spinal cord injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1302-1307
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Volume496
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 19 2018

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Keywords

  • Fibrotic scar
  • Spinal cord compression
  • TOPgal
  • Transgenic mice
  • Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI)
  • Wnt/β-catenin signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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