Immunohistochemical localization of cell adhesion molecules and cell-cell contact proteins during regeneration of the rat optic nerve induced by sciatic nerve autotransplantation

Mari Dezawa, Toshio Nagano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The central nervous system neurons of adult mammals are known to regenerate into peripheral nerve autograft. The localization of cell adhesion molecules and cell-cell contact proteins were studied during axonal regeneration induced by sciatic nerve autotransplantation. Methods: A sciatic nerve autograft was anastomosed to the proximal stump of the transected rat optic nerve. Immunofluorescence microscopy, thin sectioning, and immunoelectron microscopy with the preembedding method and ultrathin cryosections were used to localize cell adhesion molecules (L1; neural cell adhesion molecule, NCAM; myelin-associated glycoprotein, MAG) and cell-cell contact proteins (connexins 32, 43, ZO-1) at 3 days to 4 weeks postoperation. Results: Most regenerating axons contacted astrocytes in the optic nerve and Schwann cells in the graft. Immunoreactivity of NCAM was widely distributed along the surface of axons, astrocytes, Schwann cells, and perineurial cells. The L1 immunoreactivity was confined to the interface of axon-astrocyte and of axon-Schwann cell. MAG immunoreactivity was seen at the interface of axon and myelin within the graft. Connexins 32, 43, and ZO-1 immunoreactivities were observed at contact sites between axons and Schwann cells within the graft. Conclusions: Cell adhesion molecules (L1, NCAM, MAG) are localized at the cell surface of regenerating axons, astrocytes, and Schwann cells during optic nerve regeneration elicited by peripheral nerve graft. Cell-cell contact proteins (connexins 32, 43, ZO-1) are present at the interface between axons and Schwann cells in the graft. Our results suggest that these molecules are involved in cell adhesion events during optic nerve regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-126
Number of pages13
JournalThe Anatomical Record
Volume246
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cell adhesion molecules
  • cell contacts
  • immunoelectron microscopy
  • optic nerve regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

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