alexa Accurate reinnervation of motor end plates after disruption of sheath cells and muscle fibers.
Neurology

Neurology

International Journal of Neurorehabilitation

Author(s): Kuffler DP

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Abstract After injury, regenerating motor axons grow back to form neuromuscular junctions at the original synaptic sites on muscle fibers. The pathways they grow along consist of basement membrane, Schwann cells, and perineurium that remained after degeneration of the original axons. All the factors necessary for directing axons to the original synaptic sites persist in muscles even after disruption of myofibers. The aim of the present experiments was to determine whether structural integrity of nerve sheath cells is required for precise reinnervation in the presence and absence of muscle fiber targets. The region of innervation of the cutaneous pectoris muscle of the frog was briefly frozen to eliminate all living cells from neuromuscular junctions, intramuscular nerve bundles, and from a 1-3-mm length of the nerve trunk. Only extracellular matrices persisted within the frozen region of muscle and nerve. These consisted of the basement membrane sheaths of myofibers, of Schwann cells, and of perineurial cells and the small fragments of disrupted cells that were bound to them. In some preparations new muscle fibers developed within the basement membrane sheaths. Regenerating axons grew through the naked basement membrane sheaths of original Schwann cells, formed numerous branches, and contacted the myofibers precisely at the original synaptic sites. By 5 weeks 75\% of the original synaptic sites became reinnervated; the terminals were indistinguishable from those at normal neuromuscular junctions. In contrast, preparations in which all muscle fibers were prevented from regenerating far fewer synaptic sites became reinnervated.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) This article was published in J Comp Neurol and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation

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