Ma TC, Barco A, Ratan RR, Willis DE
To regenerate damaged axons, neurons must express a cassette of regeneration-associated genes (RAGs) that increases intrinsic growth capacity and confers resistance to extrinsic inhibitory cues. Here we show that dibutyrl-cAMP or forskolin combined with constitutive-active CREB are superior to either agent alone in driving neurite growth on permissive and inhibitory substrates. Of the RAGs examined, only arginase 1 (Arg1) expression correlated with the increased neurite growth induced by the cAMP/CREB combination, both of which were AP1-dependent. This suggests that cAMP-induced AP1 activity is necessary and interacts with CREB to drive expression of RAGs relevant for regeneration, and demonstrate that combining a small molecule (cAMP) with an activated transcription factor (CREB) stimulates the gene expression necessary to enhance axonal regeneration.