Differential effects of axotomy on immature and mature hamster facial neurons: A tritiated-uridine autoradiographic study

Kathryn J. Jones, Arthur LaVelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this study, tritiated-uridine incorporation was autoradiographically examined following axotomy of hamster facial motor neurons (HFMN) at the critical development age of 15 days postnatal and in the adult. The postoperative times selected were 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 days. In the 15-day operative series, no changes in incorporation were observed at any of the post-operative times, except at 4 days postoperative, when there was a decrease in tritiated-uridine incorporation in the axotomized neurons relative to the controls. In the adult operative series there were no changes in incorporation at 0.5 or 1 day postoperative, relative to the controls. At 2 days postoperative in the adult, there was a transient increase in tritiated-uridine incorporation that returned to control levels by 4 days postoperative. When axotomized and control cytoplasmic/nuclear grain densities were compared, no changes were found in either operative series. These results of the time course of axotomy-induced changes in RNA synthesis in HFMN corroborate our previous findings of an age-dependent reactive sequence in HFMN and lend support to the hypothesis that the young neurons are synthesizing at peak capacity related to final growth and cannot be stimulated further by axotomy. As discussed, the transient increase in RNA levels in the adult, the lack of any changes in the rate of transfer of RNA from the nuclcus to the cytoplasm, and the decrease in RNA levels in the 15-day neurons may be related to the presence of an unusual intranucleolar body within the nucleolus of HFMN that contains ribosomal precursors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-269
Number of pages11
JournalMetabolic Brain Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • RNA synthesis
  • axotomy
  • development
  • facial neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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