The presence of neuronotrophic factors (NTFs) in noninjured sciatic nerve extract and the course of their accumulation from 3 h to 30 days after nerve transection was examined. Rat sciatic nerves were transected and their proximal and distal stumps sutured into the openings of cylindrical silicone chambers leaving a 10-mm interstump gap. Previous studies had shown that regeneration occurs in chambers containing both stumps but is absent in chambers lacking the distal stump. Chambers became completely filled with fluid 10 to 12 h after implantation. Fluid from chambers without nerve stumps (open-ended) implanted adjacent to nerve-containing chambers had markedly lower trophic activities than those containing one or both stumps. In fluid collected from chambers containing both proximal and distal nerve stumps, the highest titers of NTFs directed to sensory neurons were measured at 3 h posttransection whereas the highest titers of NTFs directed to sympathetic and spinal cord neurons were detected at 1 and 3 days, respectively. Chambers containing only the proximal or only the distal stumps showed similar temporal dynamics for sensory and sympathetic NTFs. Sensory and sympathetic neuronotrophic activity in extracts of proximal and distal stumps followed a similar temporal course to those in chamber fluid. Extracts of nonlesion nerve segments 5 mm from the transection site contained higher sensory and lower sympathetic trophic activity than extracts including the transection site. Spinal cord activity was undetectable in all extracts. Antiserum to nerve growth factor had no effect on fluid or extracts containing high sensory or sympathetic activities. These observations suggested that (i) some NTFs may be present in normal nerves and others may be synthesized or accumulated in response to nerve injury, (ii) sensory, sympathetic, and spinal cord NTFs are separate agents and immunochemically distinct from nerve growth factor, (iii) NTFs predominantly originate from nerve stumps rather than from surrounding fluid, and (iv) proximal and distal nerve stumps accumulate and release NTFs at similar rates.
View details for Web of Science ID A1983RH10300020
View details for PubMedID 6884483