We examined the effects of peripheral axotomy on the immunoreactivity of E-cadherin and cadherin-associated protein alpha N-catenin in the spinal cord. E-cadherin is known to be exclusively expressed in lamina II of Rexed in the spinal cord dorsal horn. This expression disappeared by day 7 after axotomy and reappeared following nerve ligature (partial axonal regeneration model) on day 63. In contrast, it remained undetectable following nerve clipping (complete degeneration model). Alpha N-catenin was diffusely stained in the gray matter, and the immunoreactivity was specifically intense in the central canal and superficial dorsal horn. The expression of alpha N-catenin in the superficial dorsal horn was similarly reduced by day 7 after axotomy, but recovered by day 63 after nerve ligature. In contrast, it remained at the reduced level after nerve clipping. The alteration of alpha N-catenin immunoreactivity showed a similar pattern consistent with that of E-cadherin. Administration of nerve growth factor (NGF) rescued the immunoreactivity of substance P, which is known to disappear after peripheral axotomy, but not influence that of both E-cadherin or alpha N-catenin. These results clearly showed that peripheral axotomy simultaneously alters the immunoreactivity of E-cadherin and alpha N-catenin in the spinal cord, suggesting a correlation in the expression of both E-cadherin and alpha N-catenin in vivo. E-cadherin- alpha N-catenin complex might be crucial for plasticity of the spinal cord dorsal horn after peripheral axotomy.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
|Published - 11-1997
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience