Work in Dr. Michael Sofroniew's laboratory is directed at understanding glial cell responses to injury, degenerative disease or neoplasm in the adult central nervous system (CNS). A current focus is dissecting mechanisms and functions of astrogliosis and scar formation and how these impact regulation of CNS inflammation, tissue protection, tissue repair and maintenance or recovery of neurological function after diverse CNS insults. Reactive astrocytes are closely related to adult neural stem cells and are involved in proliferative niches in the adult CNS. Reactive astrocytes are present around CNS tumors but their roles are incompletely understood, and their interactions may either contribute to favorable proliferative niches or restrict the spread of tumor cells. Ongoing work is directed at these questions.
Sofroniew MV. Astrocyte barriers to neurotoxic inflammation. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2015 Apr 20;16(5):249-63. doi: 10.1038/nrn3898.
Wanner IB, Anderson MA, Song B, Levine J, Fernandez A, Gray-Thompson Z, Ao Y, Sofroniew MV. Glial scar borders are formed by newly proliferated, elongated astrocytes that interact to corral inflammatory and fibrotic cells via STAT3-dependent mechanisms after spinal cord injury. J Neurosci. 2013 Jul 31;33(31):12870-86. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2121-13.2013.
Gregorian C, Nakashima J, Dry SM, Nghiemphu PL, Smith KB, Ao Y, Dang J, Lawson G, Mellinghoff IK, Mischel PS, Phelps M, Parada LF, Liu X, Sofroniew MV, Eilber FC, Wu H. PTEN dosage is essential for neurofibroma development and malignant transformation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Nov 17;106(46):19479-84. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0910398106. Epub 2009 Oct 21.
Gregorian C, Nakashima J, Le Belle J, Ohab J, Kim R, Liu A, Smith KB, Groszer M, Garcia AD, Sofroniew MV, Carmichael ST, Kornblum HI, Liu X, Wu H. Pten deletion in adult neural stem/progenitor cells enhances constitutive neurogenesis. J Neurosci. 2009 Feb 11;29(6):1874-86. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3095-08.2009.
Garcia AD, Doan NB, Imura T, Bush TG, Sofroniew MV. GFAP-expressing progenitors are the principal source of constitutive neurogenesis in adult mouse forebrain. Nat Neurosci. 2004 Nov;7(11):1233-41. Epub 2004 Oct 24.