Neurochemistry of Synaptic Renewal

  • J. J. Bernstein
  • D. Ganchrow
  • M. R. Wells
Conference paper
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


The renewal of synapses in the central nervous system (CNS) of mammals, particularly after traumatic deafferentation, has been studied extensively for many decades (reviewed Clemente 1964; Bernstein et al. 1978a,b; Cotman and Nadler 1978). Due to the limited regenerative capacity in the CNS of the adult mammal, it was surprising to find that morphological synaptic renewal could occur and that the new synaptic complexes were physiologically efficacious. While it is clear that the regrowth and subsequent synapse formation demonstrated in such studies is subtended by basic biochemical processes, understanding of these events is very limited. This paper will examine some of the neurochemical data which seem correlated to synaptic renewal in the CNS of adult mammals.


Spinal Cord Neuron Soma Adult Mammal Spinal Cord Regeneration Nucleus Gracilis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bernstein ME, Bernstein JJ (1977) Dendritic growth cone and filopodia formation as a mechanism of spinal cord regeneration. Exp Neurol 57: 419–425PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bernstein JJ, Ganchrow D (1981) The relationship of afferentation and soma size of nucleus gracilis neurons after bilateral dorsal column lesion in the rat. Exp Neurol 71: 452–463PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bernstein JJ, Standler N (1979) Cyclic dendritic degeneration and regeneration of rat motoneurons after ventral root section. Soc Neurosci Abstr 5: 621Google Scholar
  4. Bernstein JJ, Gelderd J, Bernstein ME (1974) Alteration of neuronal synaptic complement during regeneration and axonal sprouting of rat spinal cord. Exp Neurol 44: 470–483PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bernstein JJ, Wells MR, Bernstein ME (1975) Dendrites and neuroglia following hemisection of rat spinal cord: Effects of puromycin. Adv Neurol 12: 439–451PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bernstein JJ, Bernstein ME, Wells MR (1978a) Spinal cord regeneration in mammals: Neuroanatomical and neurochemical correlates of axonal sprouting. In: Waxman SG (ed) Physiology and pathobiology of axons. Raven Press, New York, pp 407–420Google Scholar
  7. Bernstein JJ, Wells MR, Bernstein ME (1978b) Mammalian spinal cord regeneration: Synaptic renewal and neurochemistry. In: Cotman C (ed) Neuronal Plasticity. Raven Press, New York, pp 49–71Google Scholar
  8. Björklund A, Stenevi U (1971) Growth of central catecholamine neurons into smooth muscle grafts in the rat mesencephalon. Brain Res 31: 1–20PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Björklund A, Stenevi U (1977) Reformation of the severed septohippocampal cholinergie pathway in the adult rat by transplanted septal neurons. Cell Tissue Res 185: 289–302PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Björklund A, Stenevi U (1979) Reconstruction of brain circuitries by neural transplants. In: Trends in neurosciences. Elsevier/North-Holland Biomedical Press, pp 301–306Google Scholar
  11. Björklund A, Johnasson B, Stenevi U, Avendgaard NE (1975) Re-establishment of functional con nections by regenerating central adrenergic and cholinergie axons. Nature (London) 253: 446–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Blinzinger K, Kreutzberg G (1968) Displacement of synaptic terminals from regenerating moto-neurons by microglial cells. Z Zellforsch 85: 145–157PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Clemente CD (1964) Regeneration in the vertebrate central nervous system. Rev Neurobiol 6: 257–301Google Scholar
  14. Cook RA, Kiernan JA (1976) Effects of trüodothyrorine on protein synthesis in regenerating peripheral neurons. Exp Neurol 52: 514–524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cotman CW (ed) (1978) Neuronal plasticity. Raven Press, New York, 335 pGoogle Scholar
  16. Cotman CW, Nadler JV (1978) Reactive synaptogenesis in the hippocampus. In: Cotman CW (ed) Neuronal plasticity. Raven Press, New York, pp 227–271Google Scholar
  17. Diamond J, Cooper E, Turner C, Macintyre L (1976) Trophic regulation of nerve sprouting. Science 193: 371–377PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Egar M, Singer M (1972) The role of ependyma in spinal cord regeneration in the urodele, Triturus. Exp Neurol 37: 422–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Field PM, Coldham D, Raisman G (1980) Synapse formation after injury in the adult rat brain: Preferential reinnervation of dennervated fimbrial sites by axons of the contralateral fimbria. Brain Res 189: 103–113PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ganchrow D, Bernstein J (1981) Patterns of reafferentation in rat ventroposterolateral nucleus after thoracic dorsal column lesions. Exp Neurol 71: 464–472PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ganchrow D, Margolin JK, Bernstein JJ (1981) Patterns of reafferentation in rat nucleus gracilis after thoracic dorsal columns lesion. Exp Neurol 71: 437–451PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Goldberger ME, Murray M (1978) Recovery of movement and axonal sprouting may obey some of the same laws. In: Cotman CW (ed) Neuronal plasticity. Raven Press, New York, pp 73–96Google Scholar
  23. Goldowitz D, Cotman CW (1977) Does neurotrophic material control synapse formation in the adult rat brain? Neurosci Abstr 3: 534Google Scholar
  24. Grafstein B (1975) The nerve cell body response to axotomy. Exp Neurol 48: 32–51PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Grafstein B, McQuarrie IG (1978) Role of the nerve cell body in axonal regeneration. In: Cotman CW (ed) Neuronal plasticity. Raven Press, New York, pp 155–196Google Scholar
  26. Hamburger V (1962) Specificity in neurogenesis. J Cell Comp Physiol Suppl 160: 81–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hamburger V (1975) Changing concepts in developmental biology. Perspect Biol Med 18: 162–178PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Hoffman H, Springell PH (1951) An attempt at the chemical identification of neurocletin (the substance evoking axon-sprouting). Aust J Exp Biol 29: 417–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hoffman PN, Lasek RJ (1975) The slow component of axonal transport: Identification of major structural polypeptides of the axon and their generality among mammalian neurons. J Cell Biol 66: 351–366PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kerr FWL (1972) The potential of cervical primary afferents to sprout in the spinal nucleus of V following long term trigeminal dennervation. Brain Res 43: 547–560PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Koechlin BA (1955) The neurogenerative factor “NR”. In: Windle WF (ed) Regeneration in the central nervous system. CC Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, pp 127–130Google Scholar
  32. Lajtha A (1971) Protein turnover. In: Lajtha A (ed) Handbook of neurochemistry. Plenum Press, New York, pp 551–629Google Scholar
  33. Lasek RJ (1970) Protein transport in neurons. Int Rev Neurobiol 13: 289–324Google Scholar
  34. Lasek RJ, Black MM (1977) How do axons stop growing? Some clues from the metabolism of the proteins in the slow component of axonal transport. In: Roberts et al. (ed) Mechanisms, regulation and special functions of protein synthesis in the brain. Elsevier/North-Holland Biomedical Press, pp 161–169Google Scholar
  35. Lasek RJ, Hoffman PN (1976) The neuronal cytoskeleton, axonal transport and axonal growth. Cold Spring Harbor Conferences on Cell Proliferation, Cell Motil 3: 1021–1049Google Scholar
  36. LeGros-Clark WE (1940) Neuronal differentiation in implanted foetal cortical tissue. J Neurol Psychiatr 3: 263–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. LeGros-Clark WE (1942) The problem of neuronal regeneration in the central nervous system. I. The influence of spinal ganglia and nerve fragments grafted in the brain. J Anat 77: 20–48Google Scholar
  38. Lieberman AR (1971) The axon reaction; A review of the principal features of perikaryal responses to axotomy. Int Rev Neurobiol 14: 49–124PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Liu HM, Balkovic ES, Sheff MF, Zacks SI (1979) Production in vitro of a neurotropic substance from proliferative neurolemma-like cells. Exp Neurol 64: 271–283PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lund RD, Lund JS (1971) Synaptic adjustment after deafferentation of the superior colliculus of the rat. Science 171: 804–807PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lynch G, Cotman CW (1975) The hippocampus as a model for studying anatomical plasticity in the adult brain. In: Isaacson RL (ed) The hippocampus: Structure and development, vol I. Plenum Press, New York, pp 123–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lynch G, Stanfield B, Cotman CW (1973) Developmental differences in postlesion axonal growth in the hippocampus. Brain Res 59: 155–168PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lynch G, Stanfield B, Parks T, Cotman CW (1974) Evidence for selective post-lesion axonal growth in the dentate gyrus of the rat. Brain Res 69: 1–11PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Marchase RB (1977) Biochemical investigations of retinotectal adhesive specificity. J Cell Biol 75: 237–257PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mena EE, Cotman CW (1979) Lesion-induced changes of complex carbohydrates in the rat dentate gyrus. Soc Neurosci Abstr 5: 632Google Scholar
  46. Merrel R (1976) Membranes as a tool for the study of cell surface recognition. In: Barondes S (ed) Neuronal recognition. Plenum Press, New York, pp 249–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Norlander RH, Singer M (1978) The role of ependyma in regeneration of the spinal cord in the urodele amphibian tail. J Comp Neurol 180: 349–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Parnavelas JG, Lynch G, Brecha N, Cotman CW, Globus A (1974) Spine loss and regrowth in the hippocampus following deafferentation. Nature (London) 248: 71–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Puchala E, Windle WF (1977) The possibility of structural and functional restitution after spinal cord injury. A review. Exp Neurol 55: 1–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ramóny Cajal S (1928) Degeneration and regeneration of the nervous system. Translated by May RM, vol I. Hafner Publ Co, New York, pp 47–51Google Scholar
  51. Scheff SW, Benado LS, Cotman CW (1978) Effect of serial lesions on sprouting in the dentate gyrus: Onset and decline of the catalytic effect. Brain Res 150: 45–53PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Schlaepfer WW, Micko S (1978) Chemical and structural changes of neurofilaments in transected rat sciatic nerve. J Cell Bio1 78: 369–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Schlaepfer WW, Micko S (1979) Calcium-dependent alterations of neurofilament proteins of rat peripheral nerve. J Neurochem 32: 211–219PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Schubert P, Kreutzberg GW (1975) [3H] adenosine, a tracer for neuronal connectivity. Brain Res 85: 317–319PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Singer M, Norlander RH, Egar M (1980) Axonal guidance during embryogenesis and regeneration in the spinal cord of the newt. The blueprint hypothesis of neuronal pathway patterning. J Comp Neurol 185: 1–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sperry R (1963) Chemoaffinity in the orderly growth of nerve fiber patterns and connections. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 50: 703–710PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Stenevi U, Björklund A, Svendgaard NA (1976) Transplantation of central and peripheral monoamine neurons to the adult rat brain: Techniques and conditions for survival. Brain Res 114: 1–20PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Storm Mathisen J (1974) Choline acetyltransferase and acetylcholinesterase in facia dentata following lesion of the entorhinal afferents. Brain Res 80: 181–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sumner BEH (1975) A quantitative analysis of the response of presynaptic boutons to postsynaptic motor neuron axotomy. Exp Neurol 46: 605–615PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Watson WE (1974) Cellular responses to axotomy and related procedures. Br Med Bull 30: 112–115PubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Weiss P (1939) Principles of development. Holt Pub. Co, New York, 126 pGoogle Scholar
  62. Weiss P, Hiscoe HB (1948) Experiments on the mechanism of nerve growth. J Exp Zool 107: 315–395PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Wells MR, Bernstein JJ (1977) Amino acid incorporation into rat spinal cord and brain after simultaneous transection and crush or transection followed by crush of sciatic nerve. Brain Res 139: 249–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Wells MR, Bernstein JJ (1980) Amino acid uptake in the spinal cord and brain of the rat with longterm spinal hemisection. Exp Neurol 68: 122–135PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wells MR, Lofton SA, Bernstein JJ (1979) Effect of triiodothyronine on the amino acid uptake of the brain and spinal cord after spinal hemisection in adult rats. Soc Neurosci Abstr 5: 685Google Scholar
  66. Windle WF (1955) Comments on regeneration in the human central nervous system. In: Windle WF (ed) Regeneration in the central nervous system. CC Thomas, Springfield Illinois, pp 265–272Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. Bernstein
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • D. Ganchrow
    • 3
  • M. R. Wells
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Nervous System Injury and RegenerationVA Medical Center, (151Q)USA
  2. 2.Department of Neurosurgery and PhysiologyGeorge Washington University, College of MedicineUSA
  3. 3.Department of Anatomy and EmbryologyHadassah Medical SchoolJerusalemIsrael

Personalised recommendations