Peripheral Axotomy Challenges the Central Motor Neuron and its Cellular Microenvironment

  • G. W. Kreutzberg
Conference paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Dopamine Tyrosine Catalysis Choline Leucine 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

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

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