• serum amyloid A;
  • interleukin-6;
  • Schwann cells;
  • Wallerian degeneration;
  • macrophage chemoattractants


The elevation of serum levels of serum amyloid A (SAA) has been regarded as an acute reactive response following inflammation and various types of injuries. SAA from the liver and extrahepatic tissues plays an immunomodulatory role in a variety of pathophysiological conditions. Inflammatory cytokines in the peripheral nerves have been implicated in the Wallerian degeneration of peripheral nerves after injury and in certain types of inflammatory neuropathies. In the present study, we found that a sciatic nerve axotomy could induce an increase of SAA1 and SAA3 mRNA expression in sciatic nerves. Immunohistochemical staining showed that Schwann cells are the primary sources of SAA production after nerve injury. In addition, interleukin-6-null mice, but not tumor necrosis factor-α-null mice showed a defect in the production of SAA1 in sciatic nerve following injury. Dexamethasone treatment enhanced the expression and secretion of SAA1 and SAA3 in sciatic nerve explants cultures, suggesting that interleukin-6 and corticosteroids might be major regulators for SAA production in Schwann cells following injury. Moreover, the stimulation of Schwann cells with SAA1 elicited the production of the macrophage chemoattractants, Ccl2 and Ccl3, in part through a G-protein coupled receptor. Our findings suggest that locally produced SAA might play an important role in Wallerian degeneration after peripheral nerve injury. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.