Glossary of Terms
The manner in which a human or animal walks.
Proteins that give the surface of a cell a negative charge and are thought to be involved in many different cell functions.
Gene Expression -
A term used to describe which genes are active in, or influence, a biologic process.
Glia (also neuroglia)
Nerve-helper cells that provide structural support, nourishment and protection for neurons. Members of the glia family are oligodendrocytes (oligodendria), astroglia cells (astrocytes), ependymal cells and microglia cells. Glia form scar tissue at the site of a spinal cord injury and pose both a physical and – because they produce several types of growth inhibiting molecules – a chemical barrier to regenerating axons.
Glial Scar -
Non-viable nerve tissue composed of glial cells that form a barrier to nerve regrowth after spinal cord trauma has occurred.
The process of scar formation after a spinal cord injury. Gliosis clears dead tissue and walls off the damaged region to prevent aberrant nerve cell activity, but it also inhibits the survival of neighboring cells. The resultant scar poses both a physical and chemical barrier to nerve cell regeneration.
Growth Cone -
The leading tip of a growing axon. It is highly responsive to growth factors and guidance molecules. Guidance Molecules – Proteins that push and pull the axons of embryonic nerve cells toward their target connections.
Courtesy Christopher Reeve Foundation