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J Comp Neurol. 1995 Oct 2;360(4):599-611.

Fibroblasts at the transection site of the injured goldfish optic nerve and their potential role during retinal axonal regeneration.

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Faculty of Biology, University of Konstanz, Germany.


The region at and around the site of optic nerve transection (ONS) in goldfish, topologically the equivalent of the glial scar in mammals, is reported to remain free of astrocytes over weeks, but its cellular constituents are unknown. To learn what type of cell occupies the site of injury and thus provides support for the rapidly regenerating retinal growth cones, immunostaining experiments at the light microscopic level and electron microscopic examinations were undertaken. Between 2 and 30 days after ONS, an area up to 150 micrograms wide at the transection site exhibits intense anti-fibronectin immunoreactivity. This site contained cells and processes with ultrastructural characteristics of fibroblasts and abundant collagen fibrils. Moreover, on fibroblast cultures derived from regenerating optic nerves, retinal axons grew to considerable density in vitro. Since fibroblasts are constituents of the interfascicular spaces and outer nerve sheath of the normal goldfish optic nerve, the present data imply that fibroblasts of either source migrate into the lesion. Judging form fibronectin immunostaining they remain there during the passage of regenerating axons, and thus may provide physical and perhaps molecular support for axon growth. The fibroblasts are again restricted to interfascicular spaces after restoration of the astrocytic glia limitans around regenerated fascicles.

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