Age-dependent immune and lymphatic responses after spinal cord injury

Author: ORCID icon
Salvador, Andrea Francesca M, Neuroscience - School of Medicine, University of Virginia
Kipnis, Jonathan, Neuroscience, University of Virginia

Spinal cord injury (SCI) causes lifelong debilitating conditions. Previous works demonstrated the essential role of the immune system in recovery after SCI. Here, we explored the temporal changes of the immune response after SCI in young and aged mice to characterize multiple cell populations within the mammalian spinal cord. We revealed substantial infiltration of myeloid cells to the spinal cord in young animals accompanied by changes in the activation state of microglia. In contrast, both processes were blunted in aged mice. Interestingly, we discovered the formation of meningeal lymphatic structures above the lesion site, and their role has not been examined after contusive injury. Our transcriptomic data predicted lymphangiogenic signaling between myeloid cells in the spinal cord and LECs in the meninges after SCI. Together, our findings delineate how aging affects the immune response following SCI and highlight the participation of the spinal cord meninges in supporting vascular repair.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Spinal cord injury, Meninges, Lymphatics, Neuroimmunology, Immune response, Aging, Single-cell RNA seq
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