Neurochemical Pathology

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 165–185 | Cite as

Reformation of specific synaptic connections by regenerating sensory axons in the spinal cord of the bullfrog

  • Eric Frank
  • Dinah W. Sah


The regrowth of sensory axons into the spinal cord of juvenile bullfrogs was studied after disruption of these fibers in the dorsal root. Within 9 d after the root had been frozen, regenerating sensory axons had reached the spinal cord, as revealed by labeling with horseradish peroxidase. Growth into the spinal cord, however, was much slower. Even several months after denervation, very few fibers had reestablished any of their normal longitudinal projections within the dorsal funiculus. Eventually, however, sensory axons grew across the region and into the dorsal horn. Intracellular recordings from motoneurons revealed that these axons made functional reconnections with spinal neurons. Muscle sensory axons established direct, monosynaptic inputs to motoneurons, whereas cutaneous fibers innervated these neurons polysynaptically. Moreover, sensory afferents from a particular muscle distinguished among different classes of motoneurons, just as in normal frogs. Thus, specific synaptic pathways can be reestablished by regenerating sensory axons if they can reach their appropriate target region within the spinal cord.

Index Entries

Spinal cord, regeneration of regeneration synaptic specificity synapses motoneurons dorsal root dorsal funiculus 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Frank
    • 1
  • Dinah W. Sah
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Neurobiology and PhysiologyNorthwestern UniversityEvanston
  2. 2.Department of NeurobiologyHarvard Medical SchoolBoston

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