A determinant of axon regeneration is the intrinsic growth ability of injured neurons, which dictates a battery of injury responses in axons and cell bodies. While some of these regulatory mechanisms are evolutionarily conserved, others are unique to the mammalian central nervous system (CNS) where spontaneous regeneration usually does not occur. Here we examine our current understanding of these mechanisms at cellular and molecular terms and discuss their potential implications for promoting axon regeneration and functional recovery after nerve injury.
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