Spontaneous regeneration of the pyramidal tract after transection of the medullary pyramid was examined in young rats by the anterograde tracing method with wheat germ agglutinin-conjugated horseradish peroxidase. Care was taken to cut the tract as sharply as possible to minimize traumatic injuries. A very sharp cut produced edema-free lesions without subsequent formation of either cysts or scars, whereas a relatively blunt cut produced edema and later scars and/or cysts in the lesion. Regenerated projections in the latter cases were sparse, short, dispersed and largely aberrant as described in previous reports. By contrast, regenerated projections in the former cases were very much similar to normal in various respects: the amount, extension, path, formation of a compact bundle and termination. There was, however, a decisive difference from normal, that is, the additional aberrant projections.
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