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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Dec 1;89(23):11282-6.

Increased levels of trkB mRNA and trkB protein-like immunoreactivity in the injured rat and cat spinal cord.

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Department of Anatomy, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


Expression of neurotrophins and neurotrophin receptors was examined with in situ hybridization and immunohistochemical techniques 10 days to 6 weeks after ventral or dorsal funiculus spinal cord lesions in adult rats and cats, lesions that have previously been shown to allow axon regrowth. Strongly elevated levels of trkB mRNA were seen in the scar tissue formed in the white matter after both types of lesions. Only small increases were detected for nerve growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neurotrophin 3, neurotrophin 4, trk, and trkC mRNA in response to the injuries. trkB protein-like immunoreactivity was increased in the regions that showed elevated levels of trkB mRNA. EM localized this immunoreactivity to neurons, astrocytes, and leptomeningeal cells. Neurofilament immunolabeling and axonal tracing demonstrated that nerve fibers in the scar tissue were concentrated to areas that showed strong trkB protein-like immunoreactivity. The findings implicate a role for neurotrophin receptors in axonal sprouting and glial reactions in the injured spinal cord.

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