Dynamics of axonal regeneration in adult and aging zebrafish reveal the promoting effect of a first lesion

Graciarena, M., Dambly-Chaudière, C., and Ghysen, A.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America   111(4): 1610-1615 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Dambly-Chaudière, Christine, Ghysen, Alain, Graciarena, Mariana
Schwann cells, axonogenesis, neuromast, sensory system
MeSH Terms
  • Aging/physiology*
  • Animals
  • Axons*
  • Nerve Regeneration*
  • Schwann Cells/cytology
  • Zebrafish/physiology*
24474787 Full text @ Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA

Axonal regeneration is a major issue in the maintenance of adult nervous systems, both after nerve injuries and in neurodegenerative diseases. However, studying this process in vivo is difficult or even impossible in most vertebrates. Here we show that the posterior lateral line (PLL) of zebrafish is a suitable system to study axonal regeneration in vivo because of both the superficial location and reproducible spatial arrangement of neurons and targets, and the possibility of following reinnervation in live fish on a daily basis. Axonal regeneration after nerve cut has been demonstrated in this system during the first few days of life, leading to complete regeneration within 24 h. However, the potential for PLL nerve regeneration has not been tested yet beyond the early larval stage. We explore the regeneration potential and dynamics of the PLL nerve in adult zebrafish and report that regeneration occurs throughout adulthood. We observed that irregularities in the original branching pattern are faithfully reproduced after regeneration, suggesting that regenerating axons follow the path laid down by the original nerve branches. We quantified the extent of target reinnervation after a nerve cut and found that the latency before the nerve regenerates increases with age. This latency is reduced after a second nerve cut at all ages, suggesting that a regeneration-promoting factor induced by the first cut facilitates regeneration on a second cut. We provide evidence that this factor remains present at the site of the first lesion for several days and is intrinsic to the neurons.

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