The maximum rate of neurofilament transport in axons: a view of molecular transport mechanisms continuously engaged

Brain Res. 1993 Jul 9;616(1-2):58-64. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(93)90192-p.


Neurofilaments (NFs) were radiolabeled in the optic systems of mice. The leading edge of the radiolabeled NF waveform was distinguished near the injection site (the eye) both by liquid scintillation spectroscopy and visually from fluorographs. The fastest NFs were found to be translocated at rates of between 72 and 144 mm/day. It appears that the continuous (maximal) operation of the slow axonal transport machinery can move polymers intra-axonally at rates one hundred times greater than those previously reported.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Intermediate Filaments / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Methionine / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neurofilament Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Neurofilament Proteins / metabolism*
  • Optic Nerve / physiology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / metabolism
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology
  • Sulfur Radioisotopes
  • Time Factors


  • Neurofilament Proteins
  • Sulfur Radioisotopes
  • Methionine