Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Anatomy and Cell Biology

Supervisor

Dr. Arthur Brown

Abstract

After spinal cord injury neural stem cells are activated to proliferate and differentiate primarily into astrocytes, but are unable to replace lost neurons or aid in neurological recovery. Recent research shows that the transcription factor Sox9 promotes gliogenesis while inhibiting neurogenesis, and that Sox9 ablation causes improved recovery after spinal cord injury. The purpose of this study was to determine how Sox9 ablation alters neural stem cell behaviour after spinal cord injury and whether it leads to neurological improvements. We used BrdU and YFP to label and track neural stem cells and a neural stem cell-specific Sox9 knockout mouse model to isolate their role in improving recovery. We found that although Sox9 ablation reduced neural stem cell proliferation and gliogenesis while increasing neurogenesis, the effects were too small to have a significant impact on neurological recovery. Thus, additional factors must be altered in addition to Sox9 ablation for significant results.


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