The role played by cytoskeletal proteins in nerve regeneration was investigated in a model in which the axonal transport of neurofilaments (NF) is almost selectively impaired. The administration of β, β‐iminodipropionitrile (IDPN), a synthetic lathyrogenic compound, induces an axonopathy characterized by proximal axonal enlargements, due to NF accumulation, and by diffuse atrophic changes associated with spatial segregation of NF from microtubules (MT). We investigated post‐axotomy regeneration of rat sciatic nerve following IDPN administration. Changes induced by IDPN, as examined in the proximal and distal nerve stump at 15 and 30 days after lesion, consisted of a statistically significant reduction of the mean axonal diameter (P < 0.0001) as compared to control rats. In addition, the number of regenerating myelinated fibres was smaller in dosed rats (P < 0.001) 15 days after crush, whereas at the later stage the number of axons approached that of control animals. Electrophysiological investigation revealed a delay in target reinnervation in dosed rats. Regenerating IDPN axons, both 15 and 30 days after crush contained fewer NF (P < 0.001), while the number of MT was slightly increased as compared to controls. Taken together, our results suggest that severe alteration of NF transport, coupled with mild alteration of other components of cytoskeletal proteins, impairs the longitudinal and radial growth of regenerating myelinated axons and confirm that the number of NF is the major determinant of the cross‐sectional area of each segment of the axon. Copyright © 1993, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.