Enteric glia promote functional recovery of CTM reflex after dorsal root transection
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Transected dorsal root axons of adult rats can be induced to regenerate through the normally non-permissive environment of the dorsal root entry zone (DREZ) into the spinal cord by implanting enteric glia (EG) into the DREZ. We have now examined whether the regenerating central axons make functional connections by studying the return of function of a behavioral response, the cutaneous trunci muscle (CTM) reflex. Implantation of EG into the spinal cord DREZ led to functional recovery of the CTM reflex in 82%, 72% and 70% of animals 1, 2 and 3 months, respectively, after injury. In contrast, the CTM reflex did not recover in animals implanted with 3T3 or C6 glioma cells or with vehicle only.
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