Morphological plasticity of axotomized retinal ganglion cells following intravitreal transplantation of a peripheral nerve segment

J Neurocytol. 1995 Jul;24(7):497-506. doi: 10.1007/BF01179975.


During normal development of retinal ganglion cells when the axons are growing, transient dendritic spines have been observed. Similar dendritic spine-like processes are also exhibited by retinal ganglion cells undergoing axonal regeneration into a peripheral nerve grafted to the damaged optic axons. Here we show, using the intracellular injection of Lucifer Yellow, that when a segment of peripheral nerve is transplanted to the vitreous body, a procedure which induces ectopic sprouting of axon-like processes from the cell bodies and dendrites of some retinal ganglion cells, similar spine-like processes appear on the dendrites of cells with ectopic sprouts. Quantitative analysis indicated that there were significant changes with posttransplantation survival time in the distributions of spine-like processes and axon-like processes on these sprouting retinal ganglion cells following the intravitreal transplantation of a piece of peripheral nerve. The remodelling of the spine-like processes and axon-like processes correlated with one another suggesting that plastic changes can occur in certain dendritic subcompartments independent of the growth activity of the other dendritic subcompartments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Cricetinae
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Isoquinolines
  • Male
  • Mesocricetus
  • Nerve Regeneration*
  • Neuronal Plasticity*
  • Peroneal Nerve / physiology*
  • Peroneal Nerve / transplantation*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Isoquinolines
  • lucifer yellow