Axonal growth is a highly dynamic phenomenon, supported by morphological and biochemical transformations throughout the life of neurons. It starts early in newborn neurons, defining the axon-dendritic compartments, and determines the neurotransmission capacity of the mature neuron. Briefly, growing axons requires specification, extension, pathfinding, and maturation. Moreover, further processing, such as myelination, may be needed to improve neurotransmission. Up to date, several mechanisms controlling axonal growth have been reported, mostly affecting cytoskeleton, trafficking, and axon-glia communication. Nevertheless, genetic regulation has remained understudied.
Recent evidence suggests that histone post-translational modifications (PTM) and non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are novel epigenetic players strongly linked to axonal growth in health and disease. Therefore, this symposium will be focused on their role in axonal specification, guidance and maturation. In addition, we will discuss the influence of PTMs on axonal recovery after lesions, such as spinal cord injury. Finally, we will approach the therapeutic potential of extracellular vesicles released by stem cells carrying miRNAs, and their role on axonal regeneration capacity and myelination of neurons.