A Combination of BDNF and NT-3 Promotes Supraspinal Axonal Regeneration into Schwann Cell Grafts in Adult Rat Thoracic Spinal Cord

Xiao-Ming Xu, Véronique Guénard, Naomi Kleitman, Patrick Aebischer, Mary Bartlett Bunge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

We previously demonstrated that Schwann cells (SCs) in semipermeable guidance channels promote axonal regeneration in adult rat spinal cord transected at the mid-thoracic level. Propriospinal but not supraspinal axons grew into these channels. Here, we tested the ability of exogenous brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) to promote axonal regeneration in this novel model. The two neurotrophins were delivered simultaneously into the channel by an Alzet minipump at a rate of 12 μg/day for each neurotrophin for 14 of 30 days tested; phosphate-buffered saline, the vehicle solution, was used as a control. Significantly more myelinated nerve fibers were present in SC/neurotrophin grafts than in SC/vehicle grafts (1523 ± 292 vs 882 ± 287). In the graft, at least 5 mm from the rostral cord-graft interface, some nerve fibers were immunoreactive for serotonin, a neurotransmitter specific to raphe-derived axons in rat spinal cord. Fast blue retrograde tracing from SC/neurotrophin grafts revealed labeled neurons in 10 nuclei of the brain stem, 67% of these being in the lateral and spinal vestibular nuclei. The mean number of labeled brain stem neurons in the SC/neurotrophin group (92; n = 3) contrasted with the mean in the SC/vehicle group (6; n = 4). Our results clearly demonstrate that BDNF and NT-3 infusion enhanced propriospinal axonal regeneration and, more significantly, promoted axonal regeneration of specific distant populations of brain stem neurons into grafts at the mid-thoracic level in adult rat spinal cord.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-272
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Neurology
Volume134
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1995
Externally publishedYes

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Neurotrophin 3
Schwann Cells
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
Nerve Growth Factors
Regeneration
Spinal Cord
Thorax
Transplants
Brain Stem
Neurons
Axons
Lateral Vestibular Nucleus
Myelinated Nerve Fibers
Nerve Fibers
Sodium Chloride
Neurotransmitter Agents
Serotonin
Phosphates
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

A Combination of BDNF and NT-3 Promotes Supraspinal Axonal Regeneration into Schwann Cell Grafts in Adult Rat Thoracic Spinal Cord. / Xu, Xiao-Ming; Guénard, Véronique; Kleitman, Naomi; Aebischer, Patrick; Bunge, Mary Bartlett.

In: Experimental Neurology, Vol. 134, No. 2, 08.1995, p. 261-272.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Xu, Xiao-Ming ; Guénard, Véronique ; Kleitman, Naomi ; Aebischer, Patrick ; Bunge, Mary Bartlett. / A Combination of BDNF and NT-3 Promotes Supraspinal Axonal Regeneration into Schwann Cell Grafts in Adult Rat Thoracic Spinal Cord. In: Experimental Neurology. 1995 ; Vol. 134, No. 2. pp. 261-272.
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