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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2001 Mar;17(3):444-59.

Correlation between putative inhibitory molecules at the dorsal root entry zone and failure of dorsal root axonal regeneration.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, United Kingdom.

Abstract

The molecular mechanisms involved in preventing regenerating dorsal root axons from entering the spinal cord at the dorsal root entry zone (DREZ) are obscure. We used immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, and electron microscopy to study axonal regeneration after dorsal rhizotomy in adult rats and its relationship to cellular changes and the distribution of putative growth inhibitory molecules in this region. Astrocyte processes, ending as bulb-shaped expansions, grew up to 700 microm into the basal lamina tubes of injured roots, where regenerating axons were also present. Some of these axons approached or reached the DREZ but grew no further; others turned back toward the ganglion, suggesting the presence of repulsive cues in or near the DREZ. Tenascin-C mRNA and protein and CSPG stub immunoreactivity were strongly upregulated in the roots after rhizotomy, but were only weakly expressed in the DREZ. Tenascin-R immunoreactivity was confined to CNS tissue, and unaffected by rhizotomy. Large, rounded GFAP-negative, NG2-immunoreactive cells, a few of which were OX42 positive, were found in the DREZ following rhizotomy. Astrocyte processes projecting into the roots were tenascin-R and NG2 negative. Hence, only NG2-expressing cells and tenascin-R were appropriately situated to inhibit regeneration through the DREZ.

PMID:
11273641
DOI:
10.1006/mcne.2000.0952
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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