Rapid Anterograde Spread of Premitotic Activity Along Degenerating Cat Sciatic Nerve

Anne Louise Oaklander, Matthew S. Miller, Peter S. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Abstract: Peripheral nerve transection triggers a series of phenotypic alterations in Schwann cells distal to the site of injury. Mitosis is one of the earliest and best characterized of these responses, although the mechanism by which axonal damage triggers this critical event is unknown. This study examines the appearance and spatio‐temporal spread of premitotic activity in distal stumps of transected cat tibial nerves. Premitotic activity was determined by measuring incorporation of [3H]thymidine (a marker of DNA synthesis during the S‐phase of the cell cycle) into consecutive segments of desheathed tibial nerve. Incorporation of [3H]thymidine spread proximo‐distally within distal nerve stumps between 3 and 4 days posttransection with an apparent velocity of at least 199 ± 67 mm/day. This suggests that anterograde fast axonal transport may directly or indirectly be associated with the Schwann cell mitotic response to axon transection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-114
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Axonal transport
  • Mitosis
  • Peripheral nerve
  • Schwann cell
  • Wallerian degeneration
  • ‐[H]Thymidine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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