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Suppression of fibrotic scar formation promotes axonal regeneration without disturbing blood-brain barrier repair and withdrawal of leukocytes after traumatic brain injury

Authors

  • Nozomu Yoshioka,

    1. Department of Developmental Morphology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute for Neuroscience, Fuchu, Tokyo 183-8526, Japan
    2. Department of Biological Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan
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  • Shin-Ichi Hisanaga,

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan
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  • Hitoshi Kawano

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Developmental Morphology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute for Neuroscience, Fuchu, Tokyo 183-8526, Japan
    • 2-6 Musashidai, Fuchu, 183-8526 Tokyo, Japan
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Abstract

The fibrotic scar containing type IV collagen (Col IV) formed in a lesion site is considered as an obstacle to axonal regeneration, because intracerebral injection of 2,2′-dipyridyl (DPY), an inhibitor of Col IV triple-helix formation, suppresses fibrotic scar formation in the lesion site and promotes axonal regeneration. To determine the role of the fibrotic scar on the healing process of injured central nervous system (CNS), the restoration of blood-brain barrier (BBB) and withdrawal of inflammatory leukocytes were examined in mice subjected to unilateral transection of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway and intracerebral DPY injection. At 5 days after injury, destruction of BBB represented by leakage of Evans blue (EB) and widespread infiltration of CD45-immunoreactive leukocytes was observed around the lesion site, whereas reactive astrocytes increased surrounding the BBB-destroyed area. By 2 weeks after injury, the region of EB leakage and the diffusion of leukocytes were restricted to the inside of the fibrotic scar, and reactive astrocytes gathered around the fibrotic scar. In the DPY-treated lesion site, formation of the fibrotic scar was suppressed (84% decrease in Col IV-deposited area), reactive astrocytes occupied the lesion center, and areas of both EB leakage and leukocyte infiltration decreased by 86%. DPY treatment increased the number of regenerated dopaminergic axons by 2.53-fold. These results indicate that suppression of fibrotic scar formation does not disturb the healing process in damaged CNS, and suggest that this strategy is a reliable tool to promote axonal regeneration after traumatic injury in the CNS. J. Comp. Neurol. 518:3867–3881, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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