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J Comp Neurol. 1998 Oct 12;400(1):57-72.

Expression of insulin-like growth factors and corresponding binding proteins (IGFBP 1-6) in rat spinal cord and peripheral nerve after axonal injuries.

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Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) exert trophic effects on several different cell types in the nervous system, including spinal motoneurons. After peripheral nerve injury, the increased expression of IGFs in the damaged nerve has been suggested to facilitate axonal regeneration. Here we have examined the expression pattern of mRNAs encoding IGF-1 and and -2, IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs) 1-6 in the rat spinal cord and peripheral nerve in three lesion models affecting lumbar motoneurons, i.e., sciatic nerve transection, ventral root avulsion, and a cut lesion in the ventral funiculus of the spinal cord. The expression was also studied in enriched Schwann cell and astrocyte cultures. The injured sciatic nerve expressed IGF-1 and IGF-2 as well as IGFBP-4 and IGFBP-5, whereas central nervous system (CNS) scar tissue expressed IGF-1, IGFBP-2, and IGFBP-5. IGFBP-6 mRNA was strongly upregulated in spinal motoneurons after all three types of lesions. IGFBP-6-like immunoreactivity was present in motoneuron cell bodies, dendrites in the ventral horn, and axons in the sciatic nerve. In line with the in vivo findings, cultured Schwann cells expressed IGF-1, IGF-2, IGFBP-4, and IGFBP-5 mRNAs, whereas cultured astrocytes expressed IGF-1, IGFBP-2, and IGFBP-5 mRNAs. These findings show that IGF-1 is available for lesioned motoneurons both after peripheral and central axonal lesions, whereas there are clear differences in the expression patterns for IGF-2 and some of the binding proteins in CNS and peripheral nervous system (PNS) scar tissue. The robust upregulation of IGFBP-6 mRNA in lesioned motoneurons suggests that this binding protein may be of special relevance for the severed cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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