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Pressure-induced inhibition of fast axonal transport of proteins in the rabbit vagus nerve in galactose neuropathy: prevention by an aldose reductase inhibitor

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Fast and slow anterograde axonal transport and retrograde axonal transport of proteins were studied in the mainly non-myelinated sensory fibres of the vagus nerve of rabbits fed a diet of 50% galactose over a period of 29 days. Galactose feeding had no effect on the rate or protein composition of slow transport nor on the amount of retrogradely transported proteins. There was a slight retardation of fast transported proteins although their composition was unchanged. The galactose feeding led to a significant increase (p<0.005) in nerve water content and nerve galactitol but no significant change in myo-inositol. When 20 mmHg pressure was applied locally to the cervical vagus nerve, fast transported proteins accumulated proximal to the compression zone in the galactose-fed but not in control rabbits. Administration of the aldose reductase inhibitor Statil (ICI 128436) throughout the experiment prevented the increased susceptibility to pressure and the increase in nerve galactitol and water content. The effects of pressure are similar to those found in the streptozotocin-diabetic rat although the underlying mechanisms may differ.


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McLean, W.G. Pressure-induced inhibition of fast axonal transport of proteins in the rabbit vagus nerve in galactose neuropathy: prevention by an aldose reductase inhibitor. Diabetologia 31, 443–448 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00271589

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Key words

  • Axonal transport
  • nerve compression
  • neuropathy
  • galactose
  • aldose reductase
  • Statil