Inhibitory proteoglycan immunoreactivity is higher at the caudal than the rostral Schwann cell graft-transected spinal cord interface

Giles W. Plant, Margaret L. Bates, Mary Bartlett Bunge

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To begin to evaluate the influence that proteoglycans may have on the success of Schwann cell (SC) transplants to induce axonal regrowth across a complete transection lesion and beyond, we determined the pattern of expression of inhibitory chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) 3 weeks after transplantation into completely transected adult rat thoracic spinal cord. Using immunohistochemistry, we observed that: (1) CSPGs recognized by CS-56 antibody are present on astrocytes, fibroblasts, and SCs in the distal graft, and at lesion and cystic cavity borders; (2) CS-56 immunoreactivity (IR) is greater at the caudal SC graft-host cord interface than the rostral interface; (3) phosphacan-IR, also greater at the caudal interface, is associated with astrocytes, fibroblasts, as yet unidentified cells, and extracellular matrix; (4) neurocan-IR is present on astrocytes and as yet unidentified cells in grey and white matter; and (5) NG2-IR is associated with matrix near SC grafts, unidentified cells mainly in white matter, and lesion borders and cysts. Neither oligodendrocytes nor activated macrophages/microglia were immunostained. In sum, the CSPGs studied are increased at 3 weeks, especially at the caudal SC graft-cord interface, possibly contributing to an inhibitory molecular barrier that precludes regrowing descending axons from entering the caudal host cord.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-487
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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