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Articles by M. Schachner
Total Records ( 2 ) for M. Schachner
  A Mehanna , B Mishra , N Kurschat , C Schulze , S Bian , G Loers , A Irintchev and M. Schachner
 

2,8 Polysialic acid (PSA) is a carbohydrate attached to the glycoprotein backbone of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) and implicated in nervous system development and repair. Here, we investigated whether PSA can improve functional recovery after peripheral nerve lesion in adult mice. We applied a functional PSA mimicking peptide or a control peptide in a polyethylene cuff used to surgically reconnect the severed stumps of the femoral nerve before it bifurcates into the motor and sensory branches. Using video-based motion analysis to monitor motor recovery over a 3 month postoperative period, we observed a better functional outcome in the PSA mimetic-treated than in control mice receiving a control peptide or phosphate buffered saline. Retrograde tracing of regenerated motoneurons and morphometric analyses showed that motoneuron survival, motoneuron soma size and axonal diameters were not affected by treatment with the PSA mimetic. However, remyelination of regenerated axons distal to the injury site was considerably improved by the PSA mimetic indicating that effects on Schwann cells in the denervated nerve may underlie the functional effects seen in motor recovery. In line with this notion was the observation that the PSA mimetic enhanced the elongation of Schwann cell processes and Schwann cell proliferation in vitro, when compared with the control peptide. Moreover, Schwann cell proliferation in vivo was enhanced in both motor and sensory branches of the femoral nerve by application of the PSA mimetic. These effects were likely mediated by NCAM through its interaction with the fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR), since they were not observed when the PSA mimetic was applied to NCAM-deficient Schwann cells, and since application of two different FGFR inhibitors reduced process elongation from Schwann cells in vitro. Our results indicate the potential of PSA mimetics as therapeutic agents promoting motor recovery and myelination after peripheral nerve injury.

  D Guseva , D. N Angelov , A Irintchev and M. Schachner
 

The adhesion molecule L1 is one of the few adhesion molecules known to be beneficial for repair processes in the adult central nervous system of vertebrates by promoting axonal growth and neuronal survival. In the peripheral nervous system, L1 is up-regulated by myelination-competent Schwann cells and regenerating axons after nerve damage but its functional role has remained unknown. Here we tested the hypothesis that L1 is, as in the central nervous system, beneficial for nerve regeneration in the peripheral nervous system by performing combined functional and histological analyses of adult L1-deficient mice (L1y/–) and wild-type (L1y/+) littermates. Contrary to our hypothesis, quantitative video-based motion analysis revealed better locomotor recovery in L1y/– than in L1y/+ mice at 4–12 weeks after transection and surgical repair of the femoral nerve. Motoneuron regeneration in L1y/– mice was also enhanced as indicated by attenuated post-traumatic loss of motoneurons, enhanced precision of motor reinnervation, larger cell bodies of regenerated motoneurons and diminished loss of inhibitory synaptic input to motoneurons. In search of mechanisms underlying the observed effects, we analysed peripheral nerves at short time-periods (3–14 days) after transection and found that Schwann cell proliferation is strongly augmented in L1y/– versus L1y/+ mice. L1-deficient Schwann cells showed increased proliferation than wild-type Schwann cells, both in vivo and in vitro. These findings suggest a novel role for L1 in nerve regeneration. We propose that L1 negatively regulates Schwann cell proliferation after nerve damage, which in turn restricts functional recovery by limiting the trophic support for regenerating motoneurons.

 
 
 
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