Androgen regulates neuritin mRNA levels in an in vivo model of steroid-enhanced peripheral nerve regeneration

Keith N. Fargo, Thomas D. Alexander, Lisa Tanzer, Angelo Poletti, Kathryn J. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations


Following crush injury to the facial nerve in Syrian hamsters, treatment with androgens enhances axonal regeneration rates and decreases time to recovery. It has been demonstrated in vitro that the ability of androgen to enhance neurite outgrowth in motoneurons is dependent on neuritin-a protein that is involved in the re-establisment of neuronal connectivity following traumatic damage to the central nervous system and that is under the control of several neurotrophic and neuroregenerative factors-and we have hypothesized that neuritin is a mediator of the ability of androgen to increase peripheral nerve regeneration rates in vivo. Testosterone treatment of facial nerve-axotomized hamsters resulted in a ∼300% increase in neuritin mRNA levels 2 days post-injury. Simultaneous treatment with flutamide, an androgen receptor blocker that is known to prevent androgen enhancement of nerve regeneration, abolished the ability of testosterone to upregulate neuritin mRNA levels. In a corroborative in vitro experiment, the androgen dihydrotestosterone induced a ∼100% increase in neuritin mRNA levels in motoneuron-neuroblastoma cells transfected with androgen receptors, but not in cells without androgen receptors. These data confirm that neuritin is under the control of androgens, and suggest that neuritin is an important effector of androgen in enhancing peripheral nerve regeneration following injury. Given that neuritin has now been shown to be involved in responses to both central and peripheral injuries, and appears to be a common effector molecule for several neurotrophic and neurotherapeutic agents, understanding the neuritin pathway is an important goal for the clinical management of traumatic nervous system injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-566
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of neurotrauma
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Androgens
  • Facial nerve injuries
  • Nerve regeneration
  • Neuronal plasticity
  • Steroids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Androgen regulates neuritin mRNA levels in an in vivo model of steroid-enhanced peripheral nerve regeneration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this