Peripheral nerve-stimulated macrophages simulate a peripheral nerve-like regenerative response in rat transected optic nerve

Orly Lazarov-Spiegler, Arieh S. Solomon, Michal Schwartz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We have previously demonstrated that the failure of the mammalian central nervous system (CNS) to regenerate following axonal injury is related to its immunosuppressive nature, which restricts the ability of both recruited blood-borne monocytes and CNS-resident microglia to support a process of repair. In this study we show that transected optic nerve transplanted with macrophages stimulated by spontaneously regenerating nerve tissue, e.g., segments of peripheral nerve (sciatic nerve), exhibit axonal regrowth at least as far as the optic chiasma. Axonal regrowth was confirmed by double retrograde labeling of the injured optic axons, visualized in their cell bodies. Transplanted macrophages exposed to segments of CNS (optic) nerve were significantly less effective in inducing regrowth. Immunocytochemical analysis showed that the induced regrowth was correlated with a wide distribution of macrophages within the transplanted-transected nerves. It was also correlated with an enhanced clearance of myelin, known to be inhibitory for regrowth and poorly eliminated after injury in the CNS. These results suggest that healing of the injured mammalian CNS, like healing of any other injured tissue, requires the partnership of the immune system, which is normally restricted, but that the restriction can be circumvented by transplantation of peripheral nerve-stimulated macrophages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-337
Number of pages9
JournalGLIA
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1998

Keywords

  • Central nervous system
  • Macrophages
  • Regeneration
  • Wound healing

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