Encyclopedia of Pain

2007 Edition

Axonal/Axoplasmic Transport

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-29805-2_357

Definition

Anterograde axonal (or axoplasmic) transport is the energy-dependent mechanism by which materials synthesized in the cell body are moved to distal regions of neuronal processes. It is broadly divided into fast axonal transport, which involves the movement of materials within vesicles such as neurotransmitters, and slow axonal transport, incorporating movement of cytoskeletal proteins and cytoplasmic constituents. Retrograde axonal transport is the movement of materials such as proteins destined for degradation, or molecules acquired from the external environment back to the cell body. Impaired axonal transport has been implicated in many neuropathies, including diabetic neuropathy, as it would be likely to starve peripheral parts of the axons of critical materials and also disrupt the delivery of factors from the environment back to the cell body.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007