To overcome obstacles to the regeneration of crushed dorsal root fibers at the dorsal root entry zone, we have employed specially designed Millipore implants coated with embryonic astrocytes to serve as a substrate for axonal growth. This strategy was successful in promoting the growth of crushed dorsal root axons into the grey matter of the adult mammalian spinal cord in a small number of animals. Fiber ingrowth into the spinal cord was closely associated with the surface of the polymer implant. In addition, unique terminal arbor malformations, not normally present, were seen in several animals. A consistent finding was the presence of a limited inflammatory response in regions immediately adjacent to the implant where axons penetrate the spinal cord. Our findings suggest that providing the dorsal root entry zone with an embryonic milieu can stimulate a limited amount of axonal regeneration into the adult mammalian spinal cord.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Neuroscience