Modulation of Schwann Cell Antigens During Wallerian Degeneration and Regeneration in the Adult, Mammalian Peripheral Nerve

  • Carson J. Cornbrooks
  • Timothy J. Neuberger
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 221)


In the peripheral nervous system (PNS), the ability of injured neurons to recover and reform functional synapses depends primarily on cues from the environment. These cues may be in the form of neuronotrophic agents, such as nerve growth factor (NGF), which aid neuronal survival and/or neuronotropic factors, such as laminin, which assist in the elongation and orientation of regenerating neurites. The source of these molecules in the PNS may be gleaned from several experimental paradigms. Trauma which results in a complete discontinuity between the proximal and distal nerve stumps, often results in diminished neural regeneration. In contract, crush injury, in which the continuity of the connective tissue elements of the nerve are maintained, is associated with a greater opportunity for regeneration. Correspondingly, clinicians presently anastomose separated nerve stumps by suturing the peri- and epineuriums and may bridge larger gaps with autografts from another peripheral nerve (Michon, 1975). Neurobiologists now recognize that a solid matrix and soluble factors, both of which are produced by non-neuronal cells (fibroblasts and/or Schwann cells) are required constitutents within any terrain traversed by neurites regenerating in vivo (Politis et al., 1982; Longo et al., 1983; Williams et al., 1983; Davis et al., 1985; Schwab and Thoenen, 1985). Once viable neurons have extended neurites into a suitable terrain, functional regeneration can occur if: a) synaptogenesis proceeds with respect to the correct target and b) the re-establishment of a mature Schwann cell-neuron relationship is complete.


Nerve Growth Factor Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein Sciatic Nerve Schwann Cell Basal Lamina 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carson J. Cornbrooks
    • 1
  • Timothy J. Neuberger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and NeurobiologyUniversity of Vermont, College of MedicineBurlingtonUSA

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