PMID: 9150299Apr 1, 1997Paper

Rapid sprouting of sympathetic axons in dorsal root ganglia of rats with a chronic constriction injury

M S Ramer, M A Bisby


We compared the time-course of sympathetic nerve sprouting into the L4-6 dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of adult rats following a chronic constriction injury (CCI) made on the sciatic nerve, or following sciatic nerve transection at the same site. We also tested the rats for changes in threshold for withdrawal from mechanical and thermal stimuli delivered to the hindpaws. We found sympathetic sprouting in DRG by 4 days following CCI, paralleling the decreases in mechanosensory threshold and preceding changes in thermal thresholds. However, with sciatic nerve transection, sympathetic sprouting was not detectable until 14 days after nerve injury. Thus, after CCI, sympathetic sprouting occurs with a sufficiently rapid time-course for it to play a role in the genesis of neuropathic pain. We suggest that the more rapid sprouting seen after CCI than after resection is due to the availability of products of Wallerian degeneration, including nerve growth factor, to both spared and regenerating axons following CCI, but not following resection.


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