A decline in glial cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor expression is associated with impaired regeneration after long-term Schwann cell denervation

A. Höke, T. Gordon, D. W. Zochodne, O. A.R. Sulaiman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the peripheral nervous system, regeneration of motor and sensory axons into chronically denervated distal nerve segments is impaired compared to regeneration into acutely denervated nerves. In order to find possible causes for this phenomenon we examined the changes in the expression pattern of the glial cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) family of growth factors and their receptors in chronically denervated rat sciatic nerves as a function of time with or without regeneration. Among the GDNF family of growth factors, only GDNF mRNA expression was rapidly upregulated in Schwann cells as early as 48 h after denervation. This upregulation peaked at 1 week and then declined to minimal levels by 6 months of denervation. The changes in the protein expression paralleled the changes in the expression of the GDNF mRNA. The mRNAs for receptors GFRα-1 and GFRα-2 were upregulated only after maximal GDNF upregulation and remained elevated as late as 6 months. There were no significant changes in the expression of GFRα-3 or the tyrosine kinase coreceptor, RET. When we examined the expression of GDNF in a delayed regeneration paradigm, there was no upregulation in the distal chronically denervated tibial nerve even when the freshly axotomized peroneal branch of the sciatic nerve was sutured to the distal tibial nerve. This study suggests that one of the reasons for impaired regeneration into chronically denervated peripheral nerves may be the inability of Schwann cells to maintain important trophic support for both motor and sensory neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-85
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Neurology
Volume173
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

Keywords

  • Distal nerve stump
  • GDNF
  • Long-term denervation
  • Regeneration
  • Schwann cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A decline in glial cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor expression is associated with impaired regeneration after long-term Schwann cell denervation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this