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Spinal locomotor circuits: organization and repair after injury

Objective

Neural circuits in the spinal cord, called central pattern generators (CPGs), can produce locomotor movements. The locomotor activity pattern is the result of the circuit design and the interplay between the firing properties of the CPG constituent neurons and their synaptic interactions. Spinal cord injury impairs the function of the locomotor circuitry and results in paralysis. An understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the assembly of the spinal locomotor circuitry, the function of its key excitatory components and the intrinsic plasticity in the healthy and injured spinal cord is a prerequisite for designing novel therapeutic methods to restore locomotor function after spinal cord lesion. The work-packages have been designed to elucidate the key molecular pathways responsible for the development and assembly of the spinal circuitry for locomotion. The intrinsic function and modulation the spinal circuitry will be examined in the healthy spinal cord by combining sophisticated molecular, anatomical, pharmacological and electrophysiological tools. The mechanisms of plasticity and reorganization of the circuitry will be examined in the injured spinal cord as will the mechanism to promote regeneration of the lesioned axons. This project will integrate knowledge on the development and normal spinal cord function together with biological interventions aiming at protecting and repairing the injured spinal cord. The gained understanding will offer molecular and cellular foundations that will be instrumental in developing strategies for restoring motor function following spinal cord injury.

Call for proposal

FP7-HEALTH-2007-A
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Funding Scheme

CP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project

Coordinator

KAROLINSKA INSTITUTET
Address
Nobels Vag 5
17177 Stockholm
Sweden
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 487 600
Administrative Contact
Therese Sjöblom (Ms.)

Participants (4)

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARSOF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 338 400
Address
Trinity Lane The Old Schools
CB2 1TN Cambridge
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Dawn Barker (Ms.)
UNIVERSITAT ZURICH
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 682 200
Address
Ramistrasse 71
8006 Zürich
Activity type
Other
Administrative Contact
Huub Van Hedel (Dr.)
DANDO WEISS & COLUCCI LIMITED
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 149 000
Address
Lower Bristol Road Minerva House
BA2 9ER Bath
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Jeffrey Dando (Mr.)
Novartis Forschungsstiftung
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 340 800
Address
Maulbeerstrasse 66
4058 Basel
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Dorothy Searles (Ms.)