Evidence that contact with connective tissue matrix is required for normal interaction between schwann cells and nerve fibers

Richard P. Bunge, Mary Bartlett Bunge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

152 Scopus citations

Abstract

Explants of fetal rat sensory ganglia, cultured under conditions allowing axon and Schwann cell outgrowth in the absence of fibroblasts, occasionally develop nerve fascicles that are partially suspended in culture medium above the collagen substrate. In these suspended regions, fascicles are abnormal in that Schwann cells are decreased in number, are confined to occasional clusters along the fascicle, provide ensheathment for only a few axons at the fascicle periphery, and do not form myelin. When these fascicles are presented with a substrate of reconstituted rat-tail collagen, Schwann cell numbers increase, ensheathment of small nerve fibers occurs normally, and larger axons are myelinated. We conclude that, for normal development, Schwann cells require contact with extracellular matrix as well as axons. The Schwann cell abnormalities in suspended fascicles are similar to those observed in nerve roots of dystrophic mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)943-950
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Volume78
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 1978

Keywords

  • Axon ensheathment
  • Connective tissue matrix
  • Myelination
  • Schwann cell differentiation
  • Schwann cell proliferation
  • Schwann cell-axonal interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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