An in vivo method to prepare normal Schwann cells free of axons and myelin

Peter S. Spencer, Harold J. Weinberg, Vivien Krygier-Brévart, Vivian Zabrenetzky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


A viable population of undifferentiated Schwann cells may be prepared from chronically denervated peripheral nerves. Nerve transection stimulates a sequence of cellular events in distal stumps leading to removal of axons and myelin, and proliferation of Schwann cells. Sealing the ends of nerve stumps prevents reinnervation and leaves daughter Schwann cells residing in longitudinal columns. Schwann cells may be harvested from the endoneurial tissue of the nerve stumps 5-12 weeks after nerve transection. Unlike myelinating cells prepared from intact tissue, where function has been specified by associated axons, Schwann cells obtained from denervated stumps are functionally naive. Their usefulness in analyzing axonal regulation of myelinogenesis and mitosis is therefore suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-126
Number of pages8
JournalBrain research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 6 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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