, Volume 283, Issue 1, pp 67-73

Horseradish peroxidase in axons of the dorsal funiculi of the cat: distribution after an injection of the enzyme into the dorsal column nuclei

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Horseradish peroxidase (HRP) was injected into the left dorsal column nuclei of adult cats. Large dorsal funiculi axons of the C3, C5, C8 and L7 segments were searched for HRP-activity after 12, 24, 36 and 48 h using light and electron microscopy. Accumulations of intra-axonal HRP-positive bodies occurred at nodes of Ranvier in the C3–C8 segments at 12, 24 and 36 h and in the L7 segments at 24, 36, and 48 h. The accumulations of HRP in three spatio-temporally different consecutive patterns, noted earlier at nodes of Ranvier in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) portion of feline alpha motor axons for more than 70 h after an intramuscular injection of the enzyme, were not observed in the present material. We suggest that the differences in the modes in which large PNS and CNS axons interact with retrogradely transported HRP are due to differences in the organization of the respective nodal regions. We also emphasize that endocytosis via axon terminals in the CNS normally represents uptake of material from an extracellular space which is controlled and protected by the blood-brain barrier. This is in contrast to endocytosis via axon terminals in a muscle, which represents uptake of material from an extracellular space openly exposed to influx of different substances from the blood stream.

Received: 14 June 1995 / Accepted: 12 September 1995