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Why doesn’t our spinal cord regenerate?

Unfortunately, us mammals have a poor ability to recover after a spinal cord injury which can result in paralysis. The reasons are varied, but I emphasize one: the formation of a complex and dense scar that creates a cellular environment inhibitory of the regeneration. But what is extraordinary is knowing that there are animals in our planet that can do it and one of them is zebrafish. The secret seems to lie in the fact that this small fish does not form an inhibitory scar and instead, creates a highly favourable environment of the regenerative process. Our ambition at Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM) is to study the special aspects of the cellular environment of the spinal cord of a zebrafish and then use this knowledge to modulate the environment of mammals and make them walk again.

Learn more about the work developed at Leonor Saúde laboratory.

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