JAM-C is a junctional adhesion molecule, enriched at tight junctions on endothelial and epithelial cells, and also localized to Schwann cells at junctions between adjoining myelin end loops. The role of JAM-C following peripheral nerve injury (PNI) is currently unknown. We examined the localization of JAM-C after sciatic nerve crush injury in adult rats. JAM-C immunoreactivity was present in paranodes and incisures in sham surgery control nerve, but distal to the crush injury significantly decreased at three and 14 days. JAM-C was re-expressed at 28 days and, by 56 days, was significantly increased in the distal nerve compared to controls. In a 7-mm length of sciatic nerve sampled distal to the crush site, the densities of JAM-C immunoreactive paranodes increased in the distal direction. Conversely, the densities of JAM-C immunoreactive incisures were highest immediately distal to the crush site and decreased in the more distal direction. Further analysis revealed a strong correlation between JAM-C localization and remyelination. Fifty-six days after crush injury, greater densities of JAM-C paranodes were seen compared to the nodal marker jacalin, suggesting that paranodal JAM-C precedes node formation. Our data are the first to demonstrate a potential role of JAM-C in remyelination after PNI.
Keywords: JAM-C; Schwann cells; paranodes; peripheral nerve injury; remyelination.