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Neuron. 1991 Apr;6(4):635-47.

Expression of the growth-associated protein GAP-43 in adult rat retinal ganglion cells following axon injury.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


We have studied the expression of the growth-associated protein GAP-43 after injury to the axons of adult rat retinal ganglion cells (CNS neurons that do not normally regenerate injured axons). Both the biosynthetic labeling of GAP-43 and the GAP-43 immunoreactivity of the retina increased after axotomy, but only when the injury was within 3 mm of the eye. These results suggest the following conclusions: First, axon injury is sufficient to alter GAP-43 expression in CNS neurons, even in the absence of regeneration. Second, mechanisms that regulate GAP-43 expression are sensitive to the length of uninterrupted axon remaining after injury. Finally, the conditions that favor increased GAP-43 are similar to those that favor regrowth of injured CNS axons into grafts of peripheral nerve, suggesting that GAP-43 induction is accompanied by an increased potential of injured CNS neurons to regenerate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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