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Brain Res. 1995 Oct 23;696(1-2):76-82.

The effect of aging on efferent nerve fibers regeneration in mice.

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Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.


This study evaluates the influence of aging on nerve regeneration and reinnervation of target organs in mice aged 2, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 months. In animals of each age group the sciatic nerve was subjected to crush, section or section and suture. Reinnervation of plantar muscles and sweat glands (SG) was evaluated over three months after operation by functional methods. Reappearance of SG secretion and motor responses occurred slightly earlier in young than older mice. The degree of motor and sudomotor reinnervation, with respect to preoperative control values, was also significantly higher in young than old animals. The differences were more pronounced after 12 months of age. The degree of recovery progressively decreased with the severity of the lesion, differences being more marked in older mice. Neurorraphy improved recovery, comparatively more in older than in young mice. These results indicate that, after injuries of peripheral nerves, axonal regeneration and reinnervation are maintained throughout life, but tend to be more delayed and slightly less effective with aging.

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