Oct 8, 1989

Deafferentation-induced expansion of saphenous terminal field labelling in the adult rat dorsal horn following pronase injection of the sciatic nerve

The Journal of Comparative Neurology
C C LaMotteC M Kocol


We have examined the effect of the degeneration of sciatic nerve afferents on the distribution of saphenous terminals in the adult rat dorsal horn. Deafferentation was produced by injection into the sciatic nerve of pronase, a combination of proteolytic enzymes, which causes death of ganglion cells and degeneration of their terminal fields. The saphenous terminal fields were labelled by exposing the cut nerve to a combination of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and wheat germ agglutinin-horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP). Terminals were mainly found in the superficial dorsal horn, indicating that small-diameter afferents were heavily labelled. In one group of control animals, the normal sciatic and normal saphenous terminal fields were shown to be bilaterally symmetrical. In the experimental group, the initial injection of one sciatic nerve with pronase was followed 4 months later by bilateral HRP/WGA-HRP labelling of both saphenous nerves. In each animal, the terminal field of the saphenous nerve on the lesioned side was expanded in the medial, lateral, and caudal directions. Medially and laterally, the expanded terminal field overlapped more of the sciatic territory than normal; caudally, saphenous terminals were found in the rostr...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Presynaptic Terminals
Axonal Transport
Abnormal Degeneration
Ganglion Cell
Structure of Sciatic Nerve
Structure of Posterior Gray Horn of Spinal Cord
August Rats
Peptide Hydrolases

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