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Enhancement of axonal regeneration by in vitro conditioning and its inhibition by cyclopentenone prostaglandins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

D Tonge, K Chan, N Zhu, A Panjwani, M Arno, S Lynham, M Ward, A Snape, J Pizzey

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2565 - 2577
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2008

King's Authors


Axonal regeneration is enhanced by the prior `conditioning' of peripheral nerve lesions. Here we show that Xenopus dorsal root ganglia ( DRG) with attached peripheral nerves ( PN-DRG) can be conditioned in vitro, thereafter showing enhanced neurotrophin-induced axonal growth similar to preparations conditioned by axotomy in vivo. Actinomycin D inhibits axonal outgrowth from freshly dissected PN-DRG, but not from conditioned preparations. Synthesis of mRNAs that encode proteins necessary for axonal elongation might therefore occur during the conditioning period, a suggestion that was confirmed by oligonucleotide microarray analysis. Culturing PN-DRG in a compartmentalized system showed that inhibition of protein synthesis ( but not RNA synthesis) in the distal nerve impaired the conditioning response, suggesting that changes in gene expression in cultured DRG depend on the synthesis and retrograde transport of protein( s) in peripheral nerves. The culture system was also used to demonstrate retrograde axonal transport of several proteins, including thioredoxin ( Trx). Cyclopentenone prostaglandins, which react with Trx, blocked the in vitro conditioning effect, whereas inhibition of other signalling pathways thought to be involved in axonal regeneration did not. This suggests that Trx and/or other targets of these electrophilic prostaglandins regulate axonal regeneration. Consistent with this hypothesis, morpholino-induced suppression of Trx expression in dissociated DRG neurons was associated with reduced neurite outgrowth

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