Trying to understand axonal regeneration in the CNS of fish

J Neurobiol. 1992 Jul;23(5):537-50. doi: 10.1002/neu.480230508.


In contrast to the situation in mammals and birds, neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) of fish--such as the retinal ganglion cells--are capable of regenerating their axons and restoring vision. Special properties of the glial cells and the neurons of the fish visual pathway appear to contribute to the success of axonal regeneration. The fish oligodendrocytes lack the axon growth inhibiting molecules that interfere with axonal extension in mammals. Instead, fish optic nerve oligodendrocytes support--at least in vitro--axonal elongation of fish as well as that of rat retinal axons. Moreover, the fish retinal ganglion cells re-express upon injury a set of growth-associated cell surface molecules and equip the regenerating axons throughout their path and up into their target, the tectum opticum with these molecules. This may indicate that the injured fish ganglion cells reactivate the cellular machinery necessary for axonal regrowth and pathfinding. Furthermore, the target itself provides positional marker molecules even in adult fish. These marker molecules are required to guide the regenerating axons back to their retinotopic home territory within the tectum.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chick Embryo
  • Goldfish / physiology*
  • Myelin Sheath / physiology
  • Nerve Regeneration / physiology*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology
  • Oligodendroglia / physiology
  • Optic Nerve / physiology*
  • Optic Nerve Injuries
  • Rats
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology*
  • Species Specificity
  • Superior Colliculi / physiology


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins