—We studied the axoplasmic transport of choline acetyltransferase (CAT) activity in sciatic nerves of normal mice of various ages. For at least 3 days after unilateral ligation of sciatic nerves of 6 and 30‐week‐old mice, the CAT activity in the ligated nerve increased as a linear function of time and the increase was confined to the 3 mm length of nerve immediately proximal to the ligature. The rate of increase of CAT activity in the ligated nerves of the 30‐week‐old mice was only 45 ± 6% that of the 6‐week‐old mice, whereas the CAT activity of non‐ligated sciatic nerves of the older mice was 87 ± 6% more than that of the younger mice (n = 18, P < 0·001). The average velocity of axoplasmic transport of CAT activity was five times greater in the younger mice (1·5 ± 0·2 mm/day vs 0·3 ± 0·1 mm/day, n = 6, P < 0·01). Even greater differences were observed between still younger and older animals: the av velocity of axoplasmic transport of 2‐week‐old mice (3·5 ± 0·2 mm/day) was 17·5 times greater than that of 36‐week‐old mice (0·2 ± 0·1 mm/day). We also studied the axoplasmic transport of CAT activity in 6‐week‐old mice after unilateral section of the sciatic nerve. For at least 3 months after the operation, there were no differences between the sectioned nerves and the intact contralateral nerves with respect to the increase in CAT activity immediately proximal to a ligature placed at various times after neurotomy and one day before sacrifice. On the other hand, there was a reduction in the CAT activity of more proximal segments of the sectioned nerves. The reduction of CAT activity was maximal (52 ± 3%) 3 weeks after the operation when the maximum increase (2·5‐fold) in the av velocity of axoplasmic transport of CAT activity was recorded (n = 6, P < 0·001). The inclusion of purified (100‐fold) mouse brain CAT activity in the assays for the CAT activity of nerve segments demonstrated that the differences in content and rate of transport were not due to the presence of activators or inhibitors of CAT activity. These differences probably reflect physiologic changes in the axoplasmic transport of cholinergic neurons during development and regeneration.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of neurochemistry|
|State||Published - Nov 1975|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience