Author(s): Sahenk Z, Oblinger J, Edwards C
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Abstract Neurotrophin 3 (NT-3) is an important autocrine factor supporting Schwann cell (SC) survival and differentiation in the absence of axons. Prior studies have failed to define the explicit role of SC versus axon in NT-3 deficiency in relation to nerve regeneration and associated remyelination. In the paradigm we studied, using NT-3 heterozygous (NT3(+/-)) knockout mice capable of survival into adult-life, the experimental design provided a model uniquely capable of differentiating SC/axon influences. In these studies we first identified a defect in nerve regeneration characterized by fewer SCs in the regenerating nerve fibers of crushed sciatic nerves of NT3(+/-) mice. Subsequent experiments differentiated SC versus axonal influences as the culprit in defective nerve regeneration using sciatic nerve transplant paradigms. Results show an impairment in nerve regeneration in NT3(+/-) mice with a retardation of the myelination process, and this defect is associated with decreased SC survival and an increase in the neurofilament packing density of regenerating axons. These observations indicate that NT3(+/-) status of the SCs, but not of the axons, is responsible for impaired nerve regeneration and that NT-3 is essential for SC survival in early stages of regeneration-associated myelination in the adult peripheral nerve.
This article was published in Exp Neurol
and referenced in International Journal of Sensor Networks and Data Communications