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Rapid neural growth: calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance P-containing nerves attain exceptional growth rates in regenerating deer antler.

Gray, C; Hukkanen, M; Konttinen, YT; Terenghi, G; Arnett, TR; Jones, SJ; Burnstock, G; (1992) Rapid neural growth: calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance P-containing nerves attain exceptional growth rates in regenerating deer antler. Neuroscience , 50 (4) pp. 953-963.

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Abstract

Deer antler is a unique mineralized tissue which can produce very high growth rates of > 1 cm/day in large species. On completion of antler growth, the dermal tissues which cover the antler are shed and the underlying calcified tissue dies. After several months the old antler is discarded and growth of a new one begins. It is known that deer antlers are sensitive to touch and are innervated. The major aims of this study were to identify and localize by immunohistochemical techniques the type of innervation present, and to find out whether nerve fibres could exhibit growth rates comparable to those of antler. We have taken tissue sections from the tip and shaft of growing Red deer (Cervus elaphus) antlers at three stages of development; shortly after the initiation of regrowth, the rapid growth phase, and near the end of growth. Incubation of tissue sections with antisera to protein gene product 9.5 (a neural cytoplasmic protein), neurofilament triplet proteins (a neural cytoskeletal protein), substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide (both of which are present in and synthesized by sensory neurons) showed the presence of immunoreactive nerve fibres in dermal, deep connective and perichondrial/periosteal tissues at all stages of antler growth. The sparse distribution of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-like immunoreactivity was found in dermal tissue only at the earliest stage of antler development. Nerve fibres immunoreactive to neuropeptide Y, C-flanking peptide of neuropeptide Y and tyrosine hydroxylase, all present in postganglionic sympathetic nerves, were not observed at any stage of antler growth. Nerves expressing immunoreactivity for any of the neural markers or peptides employed could not be found in cartilage, osteoid or bone. These results show that antlers are innervated mainly by sensory nerves and that nerves can attain the exceptionally high growth rates found in regenerating antler.

Type: Article
Title: Rapid neural growth: calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance P-containing nerves attain exceptional growth rates in regenerating deer antler.
Location: United States
Keywords: Animals, Antlers, Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide, Connective Tissue, Connective Tissue Cells, Deer, Immunohistochemistry, Male, Nerve Fibers, Neurofilament Proteins, Neurons, Regeneration, Substance P, Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1425649
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