This paper describes a surgical method of manipulating feline peripheral nerve regeneration to separate spatially the temporal sequence of events of axon-Schwann cell interaction during nerve fibre formation. The method allows regenerating axons from the peroneal nerve to reinnervate the distal stump of an axon- and myelin-free, Schwann cell-enriched, chronically denervated tibial nerve distal stump. Three zones can be morphologically delineated in the tibial nerve stump after three weeks of reinnervation: (1) a proximal myelinated zone, (2) a more distal, non-myelinated, axon-Schwann cell contact zone, and (3) a distal axon-free Schwann cell non-contact zone. The distal limit of the second zone can be determined accurately by the front of an axonally transported label. The large volume of available tissue makes this method suitable for interdisciplinary studies to elucidate the control of axon elongation, axon growth, and axon-Schwann cell inter-relationships.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology