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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Re-growth of catecholaminergic fibers and protection of cholinergic spinal cord neurons in spinal repaired rats.

The extent of re-growth of catecholaminergic fibers, the survival of cholinergic neurons and the degree of autonomic dysreflexia were assessed in complete spinal cord-transected adult rats that received a repair treatment of peripheral nerve grafts and acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF). The rats were randomly divided into three groups: (1) sham control group (laminectomy only); (2) spinal cord transection at T8 (transected group); and (3) spinal cord transection at T8, followed by aFGF treatment and peripheral nerve graft (repaired group). The spinal cords and brains of all rats were collected at 6 months post-surgery. Immunohistochemistry for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH), and fluoro-gold (FG) retrograde tracing were used to evaluate axon growth across the damage site, and immunocytochemistry for choline acetyl transferase (ChAT) was used to evaluate cholinergic neuronal cell survival following the injury and treatment. When comparing with the transected group, the repaired group showed: (1) lower elevation of mean arterial pressure during colorectal distension; (2) retrogradely labeled neurons in the hypothalamus, zona incerta, subcoeruleus nuclei and rostral ventrolateral medulla following application of FG below the repair site; (3) the presence of TH- and DBH-labeled axons below the lesion site; (4) higher numbers of ChAT-positive neurons in ventral horn and intermediolateral column near the lesion site. We conclude that peripheral nerve graft and aFGF treatments facilitate the re-growth of catecholaminergic fibers, also protect sympathetic preganglionic neurons and spinal motor neurons, and reduce autonomic dysfunction in a T-8 spinal cord-transected rat model.[1]


  1. Re-growth of catecholaminergic fibers and protection of cholinergic spinal cord neurons in spinal repaired rats. Lee, Y.S., Lin, C.Y., Robertson, R.T., Yu, J., Deng, X., Hsiao, I., Lin, V.W. Eur. J. Neurosci. (2006) [Pubmed]
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