Differential effects of neurotrophins on neuronal survival and axonal regeneration after spinal cord injury in adult rats

Liudmila N Novikova, Lev N Novikov, Jan-Olof Kellerth
Journal of Comparative Neurology 2002 October 21, 452 (3): 255-63
Spinal cord injury (SCI) induces retrograde cell death in descending pathways, which can be prevented by long-term intrathecal infusion of neurotrophins (Novikova et al. [2000] Eur J Neurosci 12:776-780). The present study investigates whether the same treatment also leads to improved regeneration of the injured tracts. After cervical SCI in adult rats, a peripheral nerve graft was attached to the rostral wall of the lesion cavity. The animals were treated by local application into the cavity of Gelfoam soaked in (1) phosphate buffered saline (untreated controls) or (2) a mixture of the neurotrophins brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) (local treatment), or by intrathecal infusion of BDNF + NT-3 for (3) 2 weeks (short-term treatment) or (4) 5-8 weeks (long-term treatment). Despite a very strong survival effect, long-term treatment failed to stimulate ingrowth of descending tracts into the nerve graft. In comparison with untreated controls, the latter treatment also caused 35% reduction in axonal sprouting of descending pathways rostral to the lesion site and 72% reduction in the number of spinal cord neurons extending axons into the nerve graft. Local and short-term treatments neither prevented retrograde cell death nor enhanced regeneration of descending tracts, but induced robust regeneration of spinal cord neurons into the nerve graft. These results indicate that the signal pathways promoting neuronal survival and axonal regeneration, respectively, in descending tracts after SCI respond differently to neurotrophic stimuli and that efficient rescue of axotomized tract neurons is not a sufficient prerequisite for regeneration.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"