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Changes in the optic nerve following a crush lesion and during axonal regeneration have been studied in Xenopus tadpoles, using ultrastructural and immunohistological methods. Degeneration of both unmyelinated and myelinated axons is very rapid and leads to the formation, within 5 days, of a nerve which consists largely of degeneration debris and cells. Immunohistological analysis with monoclonal antibody 5F4 shows that there is a rapid and extensive microglial/macrophage response to crush of the nerve. Regenerating axons have begun to enter the distal stump by 5 days and grow along the outer part of the nerve in close approximation to the astrocytic glia limitans. Between 5 and 10 days after nerve crush, regenerating axons reach and pass the chiasma. Macrophages are seen in the nerve at the site of the lesion within 1 h, and the response peaks between 3-5 days, just before axonal regeneration gets under way.


Journal article


Anat Embryol (Berl)

Publication Date





75 - 89


Animals, Axons, Macrophages, Microscopy, Electron, Nerve Crush, Nerve Regeneration, Optic Nerve, Xenopus laevis