Unlike humans, axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) possess the ability to completely regenerate their spinal cord following injury. It is theorized that the population of radial glial cells in the spinal cord act as the progenitors for the neurons populating the new spinal cord, but this has not been definitively demonstrated. This study analyzed radial glial cells in the regenerating spinal cord of axolotls to investigate how glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression changed the radial glial cells during the regeneration process to provide evidence that radial glial are the sole neural progenitor in the spinal cord. Visual and statistical analysis indicated GFAP is increased in the radial glial cells that are more distal from injury sight. GFAP expression is initially increased in radial glia in the days immediately following injury, and there is a gradual decrease in expression during the regeneration process. Overall, the radial glial follow GFAP expression patterns expected of the progenitors of the spinal cord.
Honey Brook, PA