Author(s): Zheng M, Kuffler DP
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Abstract During development of the central nervous system, neurons rely on target-derived factors to guide their outgrowing processes. Several CNS target-derived chemoattractive and repellent factors have been isolated and characterized, and their mechanism of action determined. For the peripheral nervous system, the results from numerous experiments suggest that during regeneration axons also respond to concentration gradients of target-derived factors leading to an oriented outgrowth up the gradient to the denervated target in vivo. The results from in vitro experiments have shown that diffusible concentration gradients of factors released from a length of denervated peripheral nerve, composed predominantly of Schwann cells, direct the outgrowth of sensory and motor neuron growth cones over distances of several hundred microns. However, a conclusive demonstration of a chemoattractive influence of diffusible concentration gradients on regenerating adult motor axons in vivo has remained elusive. The present experiments show that concentration gradients of denervated peripheral nerve-released factors direct the regeneration of adult motor axons in vivo, and that these gradients are effective over distances of more than 6.5 mm. Nonconditioned medium exerted no influence on the regenerating axons. Thus, results from in vivo experiments parallel those from in vitro experiments and indicate that isolated peripheral nerve-released factors that are effective in vitro will play a similar role on sensory and motor axons in vivo. Finally, the results show that diffusible concentration gradients of target-derived factors direct axon outgrowth both during both development and regeneration, as well as in vivo and in vitro. Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
This article was published in J Neurobiol
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation