What determines the regenerative potential of a neuron?
We found that injured neurons are in a state of acute energy stress. Mitochondria translocate into injured axons to support regeneration, where they supply ATP that is needed for axon growth.
Axon regeneration is a highly variable process in C. elegans and other animals. We found that mitochondria loading in axons is a critical determinant of interneuron variability in regeneration.
We are using C. elegans as a platform to discover pathways that regulate mitochondria function and position in neurons.