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Characterising cellular and molecular features of human peripheral nerve degeneration

Wilcox, MB; Laranjeira, SG; Eriksson, TM; Jessen, KR; Mirsky, R; Quick, TJ; Phillips, JB; (2020) Characterising cellular and molecular features of human peripheral nerve degeneration. Acta Neuropathologica Communications , 8 , Article 51. 10.1186/s40478-020-00921-w. Green open access

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Abstract

Nerve regeneration is a key biological process in those recovering from neural trauma. From animal models it is known that the regenerative capacity of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) relies heavily on the remarkable ability of Schwann cells to undergo a phenotypic shift from a myelinating phenotype to one that is supportive of neural regeneration. In rodents, a great deal is known about the molecules that control this process, such as the transcription factors c-Jun and early growth response protein 2 (EGR2/KROX20), or mark the cells and cellular changes involved, including SOX10 and P75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR). However, ethical and practical challenges associated with studying human nerve injury have meant that little is known about human nerve regeneration. The present study addresses this issue, analysing 34 denervated and five healthy nerve samples from 27 patients retrieved during reconstructive nerve procedures. Using immunohistochemistry and Real-Time quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR), the expression of SOX10, c-Jun, p75NTR and EGR2 was assessed in denervated samples and compared to healthy nerve. Nonparametric smoothing linear regression was implemented to better visualise trends in the expression of these markers across denervated samples. It was found, first, that two major genes associated with repair Schwann cells in rodents, c-Jun and p75NTR, are also up-regulated in acutely injured human nerves, while the myelin associated transcription factor EGR2 is down-regulated, observations that encourage the view that rodent models are relevant for learning about human nerve injury. Second, as in rodents, the expression of c-Jun and p75NTR declines during long-term denervation. In rodents, diminishing c-Jun and p75NTR levels mark the general deterioration of repair cells during chronic denervation, a process thought to be a major obstacle to effective nerve repair. The down-regulation of c-Jun and p75NTR reported here provides the first molecular evidence that also in humans, repair cells deteriorate during chronic denervation.

Type: Article
Title: Characterising cellular and molecular features of human peripheral nerve degeneration
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s40478-020-00921-w
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40478-020-00921-w
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Keywords: Human tissue, Muscle reinnervation, Nerve transfer, Peripheral nerve degeneration, Schwann cells
UCL classification: UCL
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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > Pharmacology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10095841
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