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J Neurosci Res. 1999 May 15;56(4):323-33.

Regulation of fibronectin alternative splicing during peripheral nerve repair.

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Wellcome/CRC Institute of Developmental Biology and Cancer, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Wallerian degeneration following peripheral nerve injury is associated with increased production of fibronectin and other extracellular matrix molecules that are thought to enhance repair. We have shown previously that alternative splicing of the mRNA for fibronectin also changes following sciatic nerve lesions so as to reexpress forms of mRNA seen during embryogenesis. In the present study, we have examined the role of the regenerating axons in the regulation of this splicing. We have compared the patterns of fibronectin mRNA splicing seen in sciatic nerve development with that seen in cut nerves (that do not regenerate), crushed nerves (that regenerate successfully), and Schwann cells cultured in forskolin so as to mimic axonal signals. By using a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assay to examine all three regions of fibronectin mRNA splicing in a quantitative manner, we found that embryonic patterns of fibronectin mRNA splicing appear rapidly following injury and are not then altered by reestablishment of axons in the nerve. In addition, we found that forskolin has no effect on fibronectin mRNA splicing in cultured cells. We conclude that axonal signals do not regulate the pattern of fibronectin alternative splicing in peripheral nerve repair.

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