Enteric glia promote regeneration of transected dorsal root axons into spinal cord of adult rats
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After spinal cord injury axonal regeneration is poor, but may be enhanced by the implantation of olfactory ensheathing glia (OEG). Enteric glia (EG) share many properties of OEG. Transected dorsal root axons normally do not regenerate through the central nervous system myelin into the spinal cord. We tested whether EG, like OEG, could promote regeneration in this paradigm. Three weeks after EG implantation, numerous regenerating dorsal root axons reentered the spinal cord. Ingrowth of dorsal root axons was observed using 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate. Primary sensory afferents invaded laminae 1, 2, and 3, grew through laminae 4 and 5, and reached the dorsal gray commissure. No axonal ingrowth was observed in control animals, indicating that transplanted EG enabled regeneration of the injured dorsal root axons into the adult spinal cord. Thus, EG implantation may be beneficial in promoting axonal growth after central nervous system injury.
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