Interrupted nerve fibres from the C57BL/Ola strain of mouse degenerate after an extraordinary delay compared to nerves of standard laboratory mice. Other investigators, using electrophysiologic methods, concluded that the mutant phenotype diminishes with age, implying that the mutation in C57BL/Ola mice affects a developmentally regulated gene. In an effort to confirm this observation, we studied the course of Wallerian degeneration in C57BL/Ola mice aged 1 through 16 months by using quantitative morphometry, immunohistochemistry, and immunoblotting, but found the period of axonal survival after nerve transection to be no different in old versus young C57BL/Ola mice. We conclude that the C57BL/Ola phenotype of prolonged survival of transected nerves is not affected by age, although certain physiologic measures may degrade in older animals. The persistence of axoplasm after nerve injury in C57BL/Ola mice may be the feature most closely related to the function of the mutant gene.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology