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Cell Tissue Res. 1977 May 10;180(1):111-21.

The formation of free axonal sprouts from a dorsal root ganglion-nerve preparation maintained in organotypic culture, and the effects of demecolcine.


Nerve-ganglion preparations from rat dorsal spinal nerve roots were maintained in organotypic culture for 20 h. Free axonal sprouts formed at the cut tips. Clear and dense-core vesicles, mitochondria and smooth endoplasmic reticulum accumulated in the axons for a distance of 500 micronm behind the cut, as has previously been described in dorsal roots sectioned in vivo. Sprouting did not occur in dorsal roots maintained in culture without their ganglia attached. Sprouting was also prevented by demecolcine (3 x 10(7) M) which reduced the number of microtubules in non-myelinated, small myelinated and large myelinated axons to respectively 45, 30 and 20% of control values. The sprouts contained several types of vesicle including small clear vesicles, large and small dense-core vesicles and flattened vesicles. The possible relevance of the vesicles to transmitter mechanisms in these neurones is discussed.

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