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Brain Res. 1984 Aug 20;309(1):105-17.

Neurite-promoting factors and extracellular matrix components accumulating in vivo within nerve regeneration chambers.


The outgrowth of neurites from cultured neurons can be induced by the extracellular matrix glycoproteins, fibronectin and laminin, and by polyornithine-binding neurite-promoting factors (NPFs) derived from culture media conditioned by Schwann, or other cultured cells. We have examined the occurrence of fibronectin, laminin and NPFs during peripheral nerve regeneration in vivo. A previously established model of peripheral nerve regeneration was used in which a transected rat sciatic nerve regenerates through a silicone chamber bridging a 10 mm interstump gap. The distribution of fibronectin and laminin during regeneration was assessed by indirect immunofluorescence. Seven days after nerve transection the regenerating structure within the chamber consisted primarily of a fibrous matrix which stained with anti-fibronectin but not anti-laminin. At 14 days, cellular outgrowths from the proximal and distal stumps (along which neurites grow) had entered the fibronectin-containing matrix, consistent with a role of fibronectin in promoting cell migration. Within these outgrowths non-vascular as well as vascular cells stained with anti-fibronectin and anti-laminin. Within the degenerated distal nerve segment, cell characteristic of Bungner bands (rows of Schwann cells along which regenerating neurites extend) stained with anti-fibronectin and laminin. The fluid surrounding the regenerating nerve was found to contain NPF activity for cultured ciliary ganglia neurons which markedly increased during the period of neurite growth into the chamber. In previous studies using this particular neurite-promoting assay, laminin but to a much lesser extent fibronectin also promoted neurite outgrowth.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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