Peripheral Axotomy Challenges the Central Motor Neuron and its Cellular Microenvironment

  • G. W. Kreutzberg
Conference paper


For several good reasons the nervous system is classified into a peripheral (PNS) and a central (CNS) part with distinct and in many respects different properties. One such difference is the capacity for regeneration and functional restitution after a lesion, which is present in peripheral nerves but is widely lacking in neurons of the brain and the spinal cord. An exception to this rule is the motoneuron. Motoneuron cell bodies are located in the CNS, and they have the morphology, the dendritic and synaptic organization typical of large brain stem neurons, i.e. they are essentially central neurons except for the course of their axons. Thus, they leave the CNS to innervate extrinsic target tissue, e.g. muscle or ganglia. In response to an injury to its peripheral axon the motoneuron has the full capacity to regenerate by growing a new axon which under favourable conditions is able to reach and innervate the target tissue leading to a restoration of function.


Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein Hypoglossal Nucleus Facial Nucleus Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein Immunoreactivity Motoneuron Cell Body 
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. Bisby MA (1980) Changes in the composition of labeled protein transported in motor axons during their regeneration. J Neurobiol 11: 435 - 445.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blinzinger K, Kreutzberg GW (1968) Displacement of synaptic terminals from regenerating motoneurons by microglial cells. Z Zellforsch 85: 145 - 157.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cammermeyer J (1955) Astroglial changes during retrograde atrophy of nucleus facialis in mice. J Comp Neurol 102: 133 - 150.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cammermeyer J (1965) Juxtavascular karyokinesis and microglia cell proliferation during retrograde reaction in the mouse facial nucleus. Ergeb Ant Entwicklungsgesch 38: 1 - 22.Google Scholar
  5. Eccles JC (1986) Chromatolisis of neurones after axon section. In: Dimitrijevic MR, Kakulas BA, Vrbova G (eds) Recent achievements in restorative neurology, vol 2. Karger, Basel, pp 318 - 331.Google Scholar
  6. Eccles JC, Libet B, Young RR (1958) The behaviour of chromatolysed motoneurones studied by intracellular recording. J. Physiol. ( Lond ) 143: 11-40.Google Scholar
  7. Engel AK, Kreutzberg GW (1986) Changes of acetylcholinesterase molecular forms in regenerating motor neurons. Neuroscience 18: 467 - 473.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Engel AK, Tetzlaff W, Kreutzberg GW (1988) Axonal transport of 16S acetylcholinesterase is increased in regenerating peripheral nerve in guinea-pig, but not in rat. Neuroscience 24: 729 - 738.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Frizell M, Sjöstrand J (1974) Transport of proteins, glycoproteins and cholinergic enzymes in regenerating hypoglossal neurons. J Neurochem 22: 845 - 850.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gilad GM, Gilad VH (1983) Early rapid, transient increase in omithine decarboxylase activity within sympathetic neurons after axonal injury. Exp Neurol 81: 158 - 166.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Graeber MB, Kreutzberg GW (1985) Immuno gold staining (IGS) for electron microscopical demonstration of glial fibrillary acidic ( GFA) protein in LR White embedded tissue. Histochemistry 83: 497-500.Google Scholar
  12. Graeber MB, Kreutzberg GW (1986) Astrocytes increase in glial fibrillary acidic protein during retrograde changes of facial motor neurons. J Neurocytol 15: 363 - 373.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Graeber MB, Kreutzberg GW (1988) Delayed astrocyte reaction following facial nerve axotomy. J Neurocytol 17: 209 - 220.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Graeber MB, Tetzlaff W, Streit WJ, Kreutzberg GW (1988) Microglial cells but not astrocytes undergo mitosis following rat facial nerve axotomy. Neurosci Lett 85: 317 - 321.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Grafstein B (1975) The nerve cell body response to axotomy. Exp Neurol 48: 32 - 51.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Greenfield SA (1985) The significance of dendritic release of transmitter and protein in the substantia nigra. Neurochem Int 7: 887 - 901.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Härkönen MHA, Kauffman FC (1974) Metabolic alterations in the axotomized superior cervical ganglion of the rat. II. The pentose phosphate pathway. Brain Res 65: 141-157.Google Scholar
  18. Hoffman PN, Lasek RJ (1980) Axonal transport of the cytoskeleton in regenerating motor neurons: Constancy and change. Brain Res 202: 317-333.Google Scholar
  19. Hoover DB, Hancock JC (1985) Effect of facial nerve transection on acetylcholinesterase, choline acetyltransferase and [3H)quinuclidinyl benzilate binding in rat facial nuclei. Neuroscience 15: 481 - 487.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jankovic J, Tolosa E (eds) (1988) Facial Dyskinesias. Advances in Neurology: vol. 49. Raven, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. Kreutzberg GW (1963) Changes of coenzyme (TPN) diaphorase and TPN-linked dehydrogenase during axonal reaction of the nerve cell. Nature 199: 393 - 394.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kreutzberg GW (1966) Autoradiographische Untersuchung über die Beteiligung von Gliazellen an der axonalen Reaktion im Facialiskern der Ratte. Acta Neuropathol (Berl) 7: 149 - 161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kreutzberg GW (1982) Acute neural reaction to injury. In: Nicholls JG (ed) Repair and regeneration of the nervous system.Life Sciences Research Report 24, Dahlem Konferenzen 1982. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York pp 57 - 69Google Scholar
  24. Kreutzberg GW (1986) Neurobiology of regeneration and degeneration. In: May M (ed) The facial nerve. Thieme, New York, pp 75 - 83.Google Scholar
  25. Kreutzberg GW, Barron KD (1978) 5-Nucleotidase of microglial cells in the facial nucleus during axonal reaction. J Neurocytol 7: 601 - 610.Google Scholar
  26. Kreutzberg GW, Emmert H (1980) Glucose utilization of motor nuclei during regeneration: a 14C-2-deoxyglucose study. Exp Neurol 70: 712 - 716.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kreutzberg GW, Hollaender H (1983) Compatibility of horseradish peroxidase tracing with the histochemical demonstration of oxidoreductases. J Neurosci Methods 8: 177 - 181.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kreutzberg GW, Tóth L (1974) Dendritic secretion: a way for the neuron to communicate with the vasculature. Naturwissenschaften 61: 37PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kreutzberg GW, Tóth L, Kaiya H (1975) Acetylcholinesterase as a marker for dendritic transport and dendritic secretion.Adv Neurol 12: 269 - 281Google Scholar
  30. Kreutzberg GW, Tetzlaff W, Toth L (1984) Cytochemical changes of cholinesterases in motor neurons during regeneration. In: Brzin M, Barnard EA, Sket D (eds) Cholinesterases - fundamental and applied aspects. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, pp 273 - 288.Google Scholar
  31. Kuno M, Llinas R (1970) Alterations of synaptic action in chromatolysed motoneurones of the cat. J Physiol (Lond) 210: 823 - 838.Google Scholar
  32. Lieberman AR (1971) The axon reaction: a review of the principal features of perikaryal responses to axon injury. Int Rev Neurobiol 14: 49 - 124.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lux HD, Schubert P (1975) Some aspects of the electroanatomy of dendrites. Adv Neuro112: 29 - 44Google Scholar
  34. Mendel LM (1984) Modifiability of spinal synapsis. Physiol Rev 64: 260 - 324.Google Scholar
  35. Nissl F (1894) Ober eine neue Untersuchungsmethode des centralorgans speziell zur Feststellung der Lokalisation der Nervenzellen. Zentralblatt für Nervenheilkunde und Psychiatrie 17, 337 - 44Google Scholar
  36. Oblinger MM, Brady ST, McQuarrie LG, Lasek RI (1987) Cytotypic differences in the protein composition of the axonally transported cytoskeleton in mammalian neurons. J Neurosci 7: 453 - 462.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Reisert I, Wildemann G, Grab D, Pilgrim C (1984) The glial reaction in the course of axon regeneration: a stereological study of the rat hypoglossal nucleus. J Comp Neurol 229: 121 - 128.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Singer P, Mahler S (1986) Glucose, leucine uptake in the hypoglossal nucleus after hypoglossal nerve transection with and without prevented regeneration in the Sprague-Dawley rat. Neurosci Lett 67: 73 - 77.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sjöstrand J (1966) Studies on glial cells in the hypoglossal nucleus of the rabbit during nerve regeneration. Acta Physiol Scand 67 (Supp1270): 1 - 17.Google Scholar
  40. Stein-Izsak C, Breuer O, Schwartz M (1986) Expression of the proto-oncogenes fos and myc in optic nerve regeneration. Soc Neurosci Abstr 12: 12, 7. 6.Google Scholar
  41. Streit WJ, Kreutzberg GW (1987) Lectin binding by resting and reactive microglia. J Neurocytol 16: 249 - 260.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Tetzlaff W, Kreutzberg GW (1984) Enzyme changes in the rat facial nucleus following a conditioning lesion. Exp Neurol 85: 547 - 564.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Tetzlaff W, Kreutzberg GW (1985) Ornithine decarboxylase in motoneurons during regeneration. Exp Neurol 89: 679 - 688.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tetzlaff W, Graeber MB, Bisby MA, Kreutzberg GW (1988a) Increased glial fibrillary acidic protein synthesis in astrocytes during retrograde reaction of the rat facial nucleus. Glia 1: 90 - 95.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tetzlaff W, Bisby MA, Kreutzberg GW (1988b) Changes in cytoskeletal proteins in the rat facial nucleus following axotomy. J NeurosciGoogle Scholar
  46. Watson WE (1965) An autoradiographic study of the incorporation of nucleic acid precursors by neurones and glia during nerve regeneration. J Physiol (Lond) 180: 741 - 753.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. W. Kreutzberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for PsychiatryDepartment of NeuromorphologyPlanegg-MartinsriedGermany

Personalised recommendations