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Epothilones Improve Axonal Growth and Motor Outcomes after Stroke in the Adult Mammalian CNS.

Cell reports. Medicine

Authors: Christof Kugler, Christian Thielscher, Bertrand A Tambe, Martin K Schwarz, Annett Halle, Frank Bradke, Gabor C Petzold

Stroke leads to the degeneration of short-range and long-range axonal connections emanating from peri-infarct tissue, but it also induces novel axonal projections. However, this regeneration is hampered by growth-inhibitory properties of peri-infarct tissue and fibrotic scarring. Here, we tested the effects of epothilone B and epothilone D, FDA-approved microtubule-stabilizing drugs that are powerful modulators of axonal growth and scar formation, on neuroplasticity and motor outcomes in a photothrombotic mouse model of cortical stroke. We find that both drugs, when administered systemically 1 and 15 days after stroke, augment novel peri-infarct projections connecting the peri-infarct motor cortex with neighboring areas. Both drugs also increase the magnitude of long-range motor projections into the brainstem and reduce peri-infarct fibrotic scarring. Finally, epothilone treatment induces an improvement in skilled forelimb motor function. Thus, pharmacological microtubule stabilization represents a promising target for therapeutic intervention with a wide time window to ameliorate structural and functional sequelae after stroke.

© 2020 The Author(s).

PMID: 33377130

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