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Denervation increases a neurite-promoting activity in extracts of skeletal muscle

Naturevolume 302pages609611 (1983) | Download Citation

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Abstract

During early stages of embryonic development, the motoneurones of the spinal cord send out axons that penetrate the differentiating muscle masses and establish connections with individual muscle fibres1. It has been proposed that during this period the survival, differentiation and axon outgrowth of the motoneurones depend upon retrograde factors produced by the muscles2–6, and in a previous study7, we used a quantitative assay for neurite outgrowth from dissociated embryonic spinal neurones in vitro to characterize a neurite-promoting activity in media conditioned by embryonic muscle cells. At the adult neuromuscular junction, if some of the axons supplying a muscle are experimentally interrupted, fine nerve processes ‘sprout’ from the remaining intramuscular nerves and grow to innervate the denervated muscle fibres8. In this situation also, it has been postulated that the denervated fibres release a diffusible sprouting stimulus9. Using the same in vitro assay as before7, we now report a striking increase of neurite-promoting activity in extracts of neonatal chick leg muscle after total denervation.

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  1. Unité de Neurobiologie Moléculaire, Laboratoire Associé au CNRS no. 270, Interactions Moléculaires et Cellulaires, Institut Pasteur, 25, rue du Docteur Roux, 75724, Paris, Cédex 15, France

    • Christopher E. Henderson
    • , Monique Huchet
    •  & Jean-Pierre Changeux

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https://doi.org/10.1038/302609a0

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