Prior collateral sprouting enhances elongation rate of sensory axons regenerating through acellular distal segment of a crushed peripheral nerve

Fajko Bajrović, Mojca Remškar, Janez Sketelj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Regenerating axons in crushed peripheral nerves grow through their distal nerve segments even in the absence of Schwann cell support, but their elongation rate is reduced by 30%. We examined whether prior exposure of sensory neurons to trophic factors achieved either by collateral sprouting or regeneration after conditioning lesion could enhance subsequent regeneration of their axons after crush, and compensate for loss of cell support. Collateral sprouting of the peroneal cutaneous sensory axons in the rat was evoked by transection of adjacent peripheral nerves in the hind leg. The segment of the peroneal nerve distal to the crush was made acellular by repeated freezing. Sensory axon elongation rate during regeneration was measured by the nerve pinch test. Prior axonal sprouting for two weeks increased the elongation rate of sensory axons through the acellular distal nerve segment back to normal value observed in control crushed nerves. The number of axons in the acellular distal segment at a fixed distance from the crush site was about 50% greater in sprouting than in control non-sprouting nerves. However, prior sprouting caused no further increase of axon elongation rate in control crushed nerves. Prior collateral sprouting, therefore, could in some respect compensate for loss of cell support in the distal nerve segment after crush lesion. This suggests that loss of cell- produced trophic factors is probably responsible for slower elongation rate through the acellular distal nerve segment. Surprisingly, prior conditioning lesion caused no enhancement of elongation rate of the sensory axons regenerating in the absence of cell support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-12
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Peripheral Nervous System
Volume4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 13 1999

Keywords

  • Cell support
  • Collateral sprouting
  • Conditioning lesion
  • Nerve regeneration
  • Peripheral nerve
  • Schwann cell
  • Trophic factors

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