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Increased beta-actin and tubulin polymerization in regrowing axons: relationship to the conditioning lesion effect.

Authors: Lund, LM  Machado, VM  McQuarrie, IG 
Citation: Lund LM, etal., Exp Neurol 2002 Dec;178(2):306-12.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:12504890

Spinal motor neurons of Sprague-Dawley rats were examined to determine which of the neuronal isoforms of actin (beta or gamma) upregulate following axon injury. In situ hybridization studies showed greater beta-actin mRNA levels but no change in gamma-actin mRNA levels-suggesting that axon regrowth utilizes beta-actin. We radiolabeled the newly synthesized actin and tubulin that are subsequently transported in the axon to the site of an axotomizing injury. This allowed us to evaluate changes in polymerization as new cytoskeletal elements approach the injury site. Previous studies had shown that the rate of the most rapid subcomponent of actin and tubulin transport (called SCb) accelerates following axotomy (J. Jacob and I. McQuarrie, J. Neurobiol. 22: 570-583, 1991). This rate increase is associated with an increased proportion of SCb tubulin and actin in polymer (vs monomer) form (J. Jacob and I. McQuarrie, J. Neurosci, Res. 43: 412-419, 1996). However, in that study newly synthesized proteins were radiolabeled at 7 days after axotomy-which is at the peak of increased protein synthesis. This time-course did not examine actin and tubulin that were already in transit in axons when the injury occurred. This actin and tubulin would enter the regrowing axons first. Here, we have radiolabeled newly synthesized proteins 3 days prior to axotomy. For beta-tubulin, the ratio of monomer to polymer was unaffected. For actin, the equilibrium shifted strongly toward polymerization. We conclude that the acceleration of axonal outgrowth seen after the second of two serial axotomies (the "conditioning lesion effect") is related to the ability of actin that is already in transit to polymerize in response to the first axotomy.

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CRRD Object Information
CRRD ID: 728124
Created: 2003-11-07
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2003-11-07
Status: ACTIVE



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RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.