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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations

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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