Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor alters axon Schwann cell units and promotes myelination in unmyelinated nerve fibers

Ahmet Höke, Tony Ho, Thomas O. Crawford, Carl LeBel, Dana Hilt, John W. Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) plays an important role in the development and maintenance of a subset of dorsal root ganglion sensory neurons. We administered high-dose exogenous recombinant human GDNF (rhGDNF) daily to adult rats to examine its effect on unmyelinated axon-Schwann cell units in intact peripheral nerves. In rhGDNF-treated animals, there was a dramatic proliferation in the Schwann cells of unmyelinated fibers, which resulted in the segregation of many unmyelinated axons into a 1:1 relationship with Schwann cells and myelination of normally unmyelinated small axons. This study demonstrates that the administration of high doses of a growth factor to adult rats can change the phenotype of nerve fibers from unmyelinated to myelinated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-567
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2003

Keywords

  • GDNF
  • Myelination
  • Remak bundles
  • Schwann cell
  • Sciatic nerve
  • Unmyelinated axon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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