Tetanus toxin: Retrograde axonal transport of systemically administered toxin

Donald L. Price, John W. Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


After intramuscular injection, [125I] tetanus toxin is carried to spinal motor neurons by retrograde axonal transport. In the present study, we asked whether systemically administered toxin can be transported toward the spinal cord via this intraaxonal pathway. Mice were given [125I] tetanus toxin intraperitoneally, one sciatic nerve was ligated and, 24 h later, the animals were perfused. Autoradiograms showed labeled toxin accumulated within axons distal to the ligature. We interpret these findings as indicating that circulating toxin can leak out of intramuscular capillaries, be taken up at nerve terminals, and subsequently be carried toward the spinal cord by retrograde axonal transport. This pathway may be an important route by which systemically administered toxin can reach the CNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-65
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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