About this Research Topic
The functions of our organs and tissues are maintained in a delicate balance between aging and regeneration. Aging leads to the deterioration of cell biology over time, whereas regeneration promotes the replacement of aged or damaged cells. Unlike most organs, including the peripheral nervous system, the adult central nervous system (CNS) is unable to regenerate after a traumatic injury. This inability to regenerate is compounded in the contexts of aging or neurodegenerative diseases and puts patients with sensorimotor, autonomic or cognitive loss in an unbearable situation for the remainder of their lives. Promoting healthy aging and CNS repair and regeneration is therefore among the most important challenges in the field of Neurobiology and key issues for the next decade.
The complex process of aging is often viewed as a major influencer of tissue regenerative capacity. Numerous genetic, environmental and metabolic perturbations alter the rate of aging and lead to either more permissive or more restrictive patterns of regenerative gene expression. At the same time, developmentally timed transitions in regenerative gene expression are likely to contribute to hallmarks of aging. This research topic focuses on the interplay between aging and regenerative molecular pathways in the CNS. Is an aging brain still able to repair and regenerate? Does its regenerative potential rely on limiting the age-specific environmental and metabolic perturbations? Can the damaged neural circuitry of the adult CNS ultimately be functionally repaired ? Repair of the adult and aging CNS would benefit from a finer understanding of the mechanistic relationships between aging and regeneration, to help translate fundamental discoveries towards concrete therapeutic options for patients.
This Research Topic aims to combine original research articles, opinions and reviews on the CNS aging and regeneration. The scope includes but is not limited to the following subjects:
• hallmarks of CNS aging (genetic factors, epigenetic signatures, telomeres,…)
• aging and adult neural stem cell biology
• aging and neural stem-cell environment (niche stiffness, inflammation, microglia,…)
• animal models for studying aging and CNS regenerative capacity
• mechanisms of axon regeneration and circuit assembly
• circuit repair and functional restoration in the adult brain
• CNS regeneration with biomaterials, nanotechnologies and induced pluripotent stem cells in animal models or in humans
Keywords: Central Nervous System, Aging, Neural Stem Cells, Circuit Formation, Regeneration
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.