Maintaining neuronal connectivity in the face of injury and disease is a major challenge for the nervous system. The great length of axons makes them particularly vulnerable to insult with dire consequences for neuronal function. In the peripheral nervous system there is a program of axonal regeneration that can reestablish connectivity. In the mammalian central nervous system, however, injured axons have little or no capacity to regenerate. The molecular mechanisms that promote axon regeneration have begun to be identified and many of the implicated pathways are evolutionarily conserved. Here we discuss Drosophila models of axonal regrowth, describe insights derived from these studies, and highlight future directions in the use of the fly for dissecting the mechanisms of axonal regeneration.
- Axon injury
- Axon regeneration