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Overexpression of the Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 1 (FGFR1) in a Model of Spinal Cord Injury in Rats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Barbara Haenzi, Katharina Gers-Barlag, Halima Akhoundzadeh, Thomas H Hutson, Sean C Menezes, Mary Bartlett Bunge, Lawrence D F Moon

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0150541
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Accepted/In press15 Feb 2016
Published25 Mar 2016


  • Haenzi et al 2016

    Haenzi_et_al_2016.PDF, 1.05 MB, application/pdf

    Uploaded date:02 Apr 2016

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King's Authors


Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a severe condition that affects many people and results in high health care costs. Therefore, it is essential to find new targets for treatment. The fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) signalling pathway has a history of being explored for SCI treatment. Several groups have examined the effect of high availability of different FGFR1 ligands at the injury site and reported corticospinal tract (CST) regeneration as well as improved motor functions. In this study, we investigated overexpression of the FGFR1 in rat corticospinal neurons in vivo after injury (unilateral pyramidotomy) and in cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) in vitro. We show that overexpression of FGFR1 using AAV1 intracortical injections did not increase sprouting of the treated corticospinal tract and did not improve dexterity or walking in a rat model of SCI. Furthermore, we show that overexpression of FGFR1 in vitro resulted in decreased neurite outgrowth compared to control. Thus, our results suggest that the FGFR1 is not a suitable therapeutic target after SCI.

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