Injury-induced ctgfa directs glial bridging and spinal cord regeneration in zebrafish

Mayssa H. Mokalled, Chinmoy Patra, Amy L. Dickson, Toyokazu Endo, Didier Y.R. Stainier, Kenneth D. Poss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

169 Scopus citations


Unlike mammals, zebrafish efficiently regenerate functional nervous system tissue after major spinal cord injury. Whereas glial scarring presents a roadblock for mammalian spinal cord repair, glial cells in zebrafish form a bridge across severed spinal cord tissue and facilitate regeneration. We performed a genome-wide profiling screen for secreted factors that are up-regulated during zebrafish spinal cord regeneration. We found that connective tissue growth factor a (ctgfa) is induced in and around glial cells that participate in initial bridging events. Mutations in ctgfa disrupted spinal cord repair, and transgenic ctgfa overexpression or local delivery of human CTGF recombinant protein accelerated bridging and functional regeneration. Our study reveals that CTGF is necessary and sufficient to stimulate glial bridging and natural spinal cord regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-634
Number of pages5
Issue number6312
StatePublished - Nov 4 2016


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