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J Neurosci. 1987 May;7(5):1586-94.

Phosphorylation of neurofilament proteins and chromatolysis following transection of rat sciatic nerve.


States of phosphorylation of neurofilament proteins were examined in the perikarya of rat sensory and motor neurons between 3 and 28 d following either a distal transection [6-7 cm from the L4-L5 dorsal root ganglia (DRG)] or a proximal transection (1-2 cm from the L4-L5 DRG) of the sciatic nerve. Paraffin sections of the right (experimental) and left (control) L4 and L5 DRG from animals with unilateral transection of the right distal sciatic nerve were stained immunocytochemically with monoclonal antibodies to phosphorylation-dependent (NF-P), dephosphorylation-dependent (NF-dP), or phosphorylation-independent (NF-ind) epitopes on the largest (NF200), mid-sized (NF150), or smallest (NF68) neurofilament protein subunits. Increased immunoreactivity to NF-P on NF200 and NF150 was detected in experimental DRC at 10 d, peaking by 20 d, and declining to near control levels by 28 d. Conversely, immunoreactivity to NF-dP declined in experimental DRG beginning at 6 d, reaching a maximum decline at 10-16 d, and returning to near control levels by 28 d. Immunocytochemical changes were confirmed with biochemical studies on tissue homogenates that demonstrated an increase of immunoreactivity to NF-P and a decrease of reactivity to NF-dP in the experimental DRG. Changes in immunoreactivities to NF-P and NF-dP were observed only in the perikarya of large neurons and were closely associated with chromatolytic changes in these neurons. Marked enhancement of chromatolysis, as well as the immunoreactivities to NF-P and NF-dP, occurred following a proximal (left side) versus distal (right side) transection in the same animal.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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