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Can J Neurol Sci. 2008 Nov;35(5):551-66.

Peripheral sensory axon growth: from receptor binding to cellular signaling.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Regeneration following axonal injury of the adult peripheral sensory nervous system is heavily influenced by factors located in a neuron's extracellular environment. These factors include neurotrophins, such as Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and the extracellular matrix, such as laminin. The presence of these molecules in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) is a major contributing factor for the dichotomy between regenerative capacities of central vs. peripheral neurons. Although PNS neurons are capable of spontaneous regeneration, this response is critically dependent on many different factors including the type, location and severity of the injury. In this article, we will focus on the plasticity of adult dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neurons and how trophic factors and the extracellular environment stimulate the activation of intracellular signaling cascades that promote axonal growth in adult dorsal root ganglion neurons.

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