Author(s): Dobretsov M, Dobretsov A, Kuffler DP
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Abstract Previous experiments have shown that medium conditioned (CM) by denervated peripheral nerve contains a process outgrowth promoting factor(s) for cultured adult frog dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. The present experiments further characterize the influences of these factors on DRG neurons. The growth factors increases average process length by threefold, restricts the number of processes extended from four to two while simultaneously altering the morphology of those processes. Neurons with preexisting processes respond to the factors by significantly increasing the length of 35\% of these processes. Only the newly elongated portions of preexisting processes have a morphology typical of factor-induced processes, while the previously extended portions retain their original morphology. The number of processes of these neurons remains unchanged. Although composed of two populations according to size, neurons in both populations are similarly influenced, suggesting that the factors influence neurons of all sensory modalities. To look at other possible influences of the nerve-released factors, a novel simple culture system has been developed in which concentration gradients of these factors can be established and maintained. The front of the outgrowth-promoting influence in these cultures could be followed over time (up to 9 days) as it affected the process length and morphology of neurons at increasing distances (up to 8 mm) from the source of the factors. The trophic factors may play important roles during regeneration in vivo by influencing the cytoskeletal organization in the cell body and growth cones to bring about a stabilization and consolidation of growth cone membrane of only a limited number of processes resulting in increasing the rate of process elongation. The factors may also serve to direct process outgrowth, which can be examined using the new culture system.
This article was published in J Neurobiol
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation