Changes in intra-axonal calcium distribution following nerve crush

J Neurobiol. 1986 Sep;17(5):449-67. doi: 10.1002/neu.480170508.


We used the oxalate-pyroantimonate method to demonstrate the ultrastructural distribution of calcium within rat sciatic nerve 4 h after a crush injury. In normal nerve there are discrete gradients of axoplasmic calcium precipitate with the amount of precipitate decreasing in the axoplasm beneath the Schmidt Lantermann clefts and in the paranodal regions at the node of Ranvier. Near the crush site a marked increase in endoneurial and intra-axonal calcium precipitate correlated with morphologic evidence of axonal degeneration. More distant from the crush site, both in the distal segment destined to degenerate and in the proximal segment destined to regenerate, the most prominent finding was a loss of the normal gradient of precipitate beneath the Schmidt Lantermann clefts. The calcium influx at the crush site corresponds to the known role of calcium in triggering degeneration. The alterations in the distal axon may be an early stage leading to degeneration. Alteration in calcium distribution in the proximal nerve stump may play a role in the regulation of the response to injury.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimony
  • Axons / metabolism
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Oxalates
  • Oxalic Acid
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries*
  • Peripheral Nerves / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Oxalates
  • pyroantimonate
  • Oxalic Acid
  • Antimony
  • Calcium