CNTF promotes the regrowth of retinal ganglion cell axons into murine peripheral nerve grafts

Neuroreport. 2000 Dec 18;11(18):3999-4002. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200012180-00019.


Autologous peripheral nerves were transplanted onto transected optic nerves of adult mice. We examined whether intraocular CNTF injections increased retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axon regeneration, and what types of RGCs regrew axons into grafts. After temporal CNTF eye injections there were more fluorogold-labelled regenerating RGCs (mean +/- s.e.m. 342+/-113.1; n=6) than in sham eye-injected mice (133+/-27.6; n=8). Greater numbers of regenerating RGCs (1198+/-367.6; n=6) were seen in mice receiving both nasal and temporal CNTF injections. The range of soma areas in regenerate and normal retinas was similar but the average size of regenerating RGCs was greater (212 microm2 vs 111 microm2). Most regenerating RGCs had large dendritic fields. The data suggest a heterogeneous response to axotomy in adult mice, large RGCs preferentially regrowing axons into PN grafts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Tissue Transplantation / methods*
  • Cell Count / statistics & numerical data
  • Cell Size / physiology
  • Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor / metabolism
  • Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor / pharmacology*
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal
  • Nerve Regeneration / drug effects*
  • Nerve Regeneration / physiology
  • Optic Nerve / cytology
  • Optic Nerve / drug effects*
  • Optic Nerve / surgery*
  • Peripheral Nerves / transplantation*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / drug effects*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / metabolism
  • Stilbamidines*


  • 2-hydroxy-4,4'-diamidinostilbene, methanesulfonate salt
  • Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Stilbamidines