Effects of nerve growth factor and its antibodies on sprouting of sensory axons following spinal cord hemisection

C. E. Hulsebosch, R. E. Coggeshall, J. R. Perez-Polo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Axons were counted in rat dorsal roots three segments cranial and three segments caudal to a spinal hemisection done at birth. The animals were placed in three groups: (1) hemisected (HEMI), (2) hemisected and given nerve growth factor (NGF) daily (HEMI + NGF) and (3) hemisected and given antibodies to NGF daily (HEMI + anti-NGF). They were sacrificed at 1 month. In the HEMI and HEMI + NGF groups, there were 20% and 13% more unmyelinated axons, respectively, in roots of the operated side. We interpret these differences to be the result of sprouting of unmyelinated axons as a result of denervation, and exogenous NGF does not seem to affect the response. By contrast, the unmyelinated axon responses in HEMI + anti-NGF animals are different. These animals have approximately 7% more unmyelinated axons on the denervated side and 50% more axons on the normal side than in the other animals we studied. The results on the anti-NGF animals are interpreted as indicating sprouting in response to a chemical denervation caused by NGF removal and the response is more dramatic on the unoperated side.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 3 1984
Externally publishedYes


  • anti-nerve growth factor
  • axonal sprouting
  • nerve growth factor
  • unmyelinated axons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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