Send to

Choose Destination
Exp Neurol. 2006 Nov;202(1):161-6. Epub 2006 Jul 10.

Nature of signals that initiate the immune response during Wallerian degeneration of peripheral nerves.

Author information

Department of Neurosurgery, Centre for Neuroscience, Barts and the London, Queen Marys School of Medicine, University of London, The Royal London Hospital, London E1 1BB, UK.


Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 is produced by Schwann cells during Wallerian degeneration of a peripheral nerve and contributes to a selective accumulation of macrophages in the degenerating segment. An in vitro preparation has been developed to analyze the molecules from axons and non-neuronal cells in nerves that stimulate an increased production of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 mRNA by Schwann cells. For this purpose, Schwann cells obtained from neonatal rats were maintained in culture, exposed to putative molecular stimuli and analyzed for their content of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 mRNA. Under basal conditions, the concentration of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 in Schwann cells was low. Freeze-killed fragments or homogenates of nerve (or brain) but not viable nerve or freeze-killed muscle were effective in inducing monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 mRNA. The inductive activity was abolished by heating. Results of dialysis of supernatants of nerve homogenates indicate that a protein or proteins of 1-10 kDa were capable of stimulating synthesis of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 by Schwann cells. Also, the activity in nerve homogenates was partially inhibited by antibodies to Toll-like receptor-4. The observations suggest that a non-secreted protein is released from disintegrating axons to initiate the innate immune response that characterizes Wallerian degeneration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center