Netrin-1 and peripheral nerve regeneration in the adult rat.
Axonal guidance during development of the nervous system is thought to be highly regulated through interactions of axons with attractive, repulsive, and trophic cues. Similar mechanisms regulate axonal regeneration after injury. The netrins have been shown to influence the guidance of several classes of developing axons. Although netrins have been implicated as axonal guidance cues in the developing peripheral nervous system, there has been no direct evidence of netrin-1 expression in either developing or adult peripheral nerve. The present study utilized competitive PCR and immunohistochemistry to demonstrate the localization of netrin-1 within adult rat sciatic nerve. The expression of netrin-1 mRNA and protein was compared for normal or regenerated sciatic nerve 2 weeks following either a crush or a transection and repair injury. The PCR data show that netrin-1 mRNA is normally expressed at low levels in peripheral nerve, and similar low levels are found 2 weeks following a crush injury. However, 2 weeks following nerve transection and repair there is approximately a 40-fold increase in netrin-1 mRNA levels. Immunohistochemistry data show that Schwann cells are the major source of netrin-1 protein in peripheral nerve. Our results suggest that netrin-1 mRNA levels are profoundly affected during peripheral nerve injury and regeneration. The localization of netrin-1 to Schwann cells suggests that this protein is strategically situated to influence axon regeneration in adult peripheral nerve.
Madison, RD; Zomorodi, A; Robinson, GA
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