Rapid astroglial reactions in the motor cortex of adult rats following peripheral facial nerve lesions
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We report on changes in the motor cortex of adult rats that rapidly and transiently followed various types of facial nerve lesions. These reactions led to enhanced immunoreactivities of various astroglial markers: S-100 protein (a Ca2+- and Zn2+-binding protein predominantly located in the cytosol of astrocytes), glial fibrillary acidic protein (a cytoskeletal protein) and connexin 43 (the astroglial gap junction protein). Reactions could be visualized 1 h after the facial nerve lesion and disappeared within about 5 days after surgery. Combined lesions of the facial and trigeminal nerves modified the spatial pattern of the astroglial reaction, similiar to intramuscular injections of botulinum toxin, which inhibits the release of acetylcholine in motor endplates. Data presented suggest that peripheral interference with muscular functions rapidly induces modifications in the motor cortex.
Key wordsFacial nerve lesion Cerebral motor cortex Astrocytes
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