221 73 73 2 2 M. Bähr J. Vanselow S. Thanos Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie Spemannstr. 35 D-7400 Tübingen Germany Summary The potential for regeneration of adult rat ganglion cell (RGC) axons was investigated in vitro. Explants from RITC (rhodamine-B-isothiocyanate) retrogradely labeled and in vivo axotomized retinae were placed on dishes coated with various substrates. The retinal pieces were cultivated in a serum-free medium and incubated under 50 to 80% O 2 -enriched and 5% CO 2 -containing atmosphere. Under these conditions, massive outgrowth of fibers was observed as early as 24 h after explantation and over a period of time extending up to 7 days in culture. By various criteria, two main types of processes could be characterized: (1) Short, thick processes emerged from either migrated flat cells or from cells inside the retinal explant, and (2) long and thin processes emerged from cells in the ganglion cell layer (GCL). By immunohistochemistry, the short processes and the cells from which they had emerged, appeared to be glial acidic fibrillary protein (GFAP)-positive Thy 1 and L 1-negative, suggesting their glial nature. The second type of long, thin processes appeared to be GFAP-negative, L1- and Thy 1-positive, indicating that they were neuronal, probably RGC processes. Proof that long fibers emerged from RGCs was provided by retrograde labeling of RGCs with RITC prior to explanation. Numerous RITC-filled RGCs survived in vitro. Regrowing axons retransported part of the accumulated fluorescent dye in the orthograde direction and thus unequivocally permitted their identification as RGC axons. The fact that adult RGC axons can reelongate in vitro might provide a useful bioassay for investigations on the factors that either support or inhibit regrowth of axons from CNS neurons.
Experimental Brain Research – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 1, 1988
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