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Neural Plast. 2016;2016:4969523. Epub 2016 Oct 27.

Dose-Dependent Differential Effect of Neurotrophic Factors on In Vitro and In Vivo Regeneration of Motor and Sensory Neurons.

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Institute of Neurosciences, Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), Bellaterra, Spain.


Although peripheral axons can regenerate after nerve transection and repair, functional recovery is usually poor due to inaccurate reinnervation. Neurotrophic factors promote directional guidance to regenerating axons and their selective application may help to improve functional recovery. Hence, we have characterized in organotypic cultures of spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia the effect of GDNF, FGF-2, NGF, NT-3, and BDNF at different concentrations on motor and sensory neurite outgrowth. In vitro results show that GDNF and FGF-2 enhanced both motor and sensory neurite outgrowth, NGF and NT-3 were the most selective to enhance sensory neurite outgrowth, and high doses of BDNF selectively enhanced motor neurite outgrowth. Then, NGF, NT-3, and BDNF (as the most selective factors) were delivered in a collagen matrix within a silicone tube to repair the severed sciatic nerve of rats. Quantification of Fluorogold retrolabeled neurons showed that NGF and NT-3 did not show preferential effect on sensory regeneration whereas BDNF preferentially promoted motor axons regeneration. Therefore, the selective effects of NGF and NT-3 shown in vitro are lost when they are applied in vivo, but a high dose of BDNF is able to selectively enhance motor neuron regeneration both in vitro and in vivo.

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