Abstract In adult Wistar rats a segment of the right sciatic nerve was grafted to the right dorsal funiculus of the spinal cord (SC). After survivals of 25-54 weeks a solution of the retrograde fluorescent cytoplasmatic tracer Fast Blue (FB) was injected into the SC and microgranules of the retrograde fluorescent nuclear tracer Diamidino Yellow (DY) were inserted into the graft. DY labelled neurones were found in the SC up to 30 mm both rostrally and caudally to the graft and were always single labelled. DY labelled cells were also found in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) for 6-7 consecutive levels caudally to the graft. Ten to 30% of the DY labelled DRG cells were double labelled and also contained the FB tracer. The present work using the multiple retrograde fluorescent tracing method demonstrates that peripheral nerve (PN) grafts implanted in the rat SC are reinnervated by axones arising from intrinsic SC neurones and DRG cells. The axones from intrinsic SC neurones seem to result only from the regrowth of damaged neurones which have lost their intraspinal projections. The regeneration from DRG cells seem to be sustained by both the regrowth of damaged axones and the preterminal and/or collateral sprouting.
- Nerve Regeneration
- Spinal Cord