A novel allograft paradigm was used to test whether adult mammalian central axons regenerate within a peripheral nerve environment containing intact sensory axons. Retinal ganglion cell axon regeneration was compared following anastomosis of dorsal root ganglia grafts or conventional peripheral nerve grafts to the adult rat optic nerve. Dorsal root ganglia grafts comprised intact sensory and degenerate motor axons, whereas conventional grafts comprised both degenerating sensory and motor axons. Retinal ganglion cell axons were traced after 2 months. Dorsal root ganglia survived with their axons persisting throughout the graft. Comparable numbers of retinal ganglion cells regenerated axons into both dorsal root ganglia (1053 +/- 223) and conventional grafts (1323 +/- 881; P > 0.05). The results indicate that an intact sensory environment supports central axon regeneration.
|Publication status||Published - 2006|