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Lack of dystrophin in mdx mice leads to muscle fibre degeneration followed by the formation of new myofibres. This degeneration—regeneration event occurs in clusters. It is accompanied by inflammation and remodelling of the intramuscular terminal nerve fibres. Since the growth-associated protein B-50/GAP-43 has been shown to be involved in axonal outgrowth and synaptic remodelling following neuronal injury, we have investigated the presence of B-50 in gastrocnemius and quadriceps muscles of mdx mice. Using immunocytochemistry we demonstrate increased presence of B-50 in terminal nerve branches at motor endplates of mdx mice, particularly in the clusters of de- and regenerating myofibres. In comparison, the control mice displayed no B-50 immunoreactivity in nerve fibres contacting motor endplates. Our findings indicate that during axona...
B-50/GAP-43 is a nervous tissue-specific protein, the expression of which is associated with axon growth and regeneration. Its overexpression in transgenic mice produces spontaneous axonal sprouting and enhances induced remodeling in several neuron populations (; ). We examined the capacity of this protein to increase the regenerative potential of injured adult central axons, by inducing targeted B-50/GAP-43 overexpression in Purkinje cells, which normally show poor regenerative capabilities. Thus, transgenic mice were produced in which B-50/GAP-43 overexpression was driven by the Purkinje cell-specific L7 promoter. Uninjured transgenic Purkinje cells displayed normal morphology, indicating that transgene expression does not modify the normal phenotype of these neurons. By contrast, after axotomy numerous transgenic Purkinje cells exhi...
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