Semaphorin 3A Inhibits Nerve Regeneration During Early Stage after Inferior Alveolar Nerve Transection.


Division of Dental Anesthesiology, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Niigata, Japan. [Email]


Neuroma formation at sites of injury can impair peripheral nerve regeneration. Although the involvement of semaphorin 3A has been suggested in neuroma formation, this detailed process after injury is not fully understood. This study was therefore undertaken to examine the effects of semaphorin 3A on peripheral nerve regeneration during the early stage after injury. Immunohistochemistry for semaphorin 3A and PGP9.5, a general neuronal marker, was carried out for clarify chronological changes in their expressions after transection of the mouse inferior alveolar nerve thorough postoperative days 1 to 7. At postoperative day 1, the proximal stump of the damaged IAN exhibited semaphorin 3A, while the distal stump lacked any immunoreactivity. From this day on, its expression lessened, ultimately disappearing completely in all regions of the transected inferior alveolar nerve. A local administration of an antibody to semaphorin 3A into the nerve transection site at postoperative day 3 inhibited axon sprouting at the injury site. This antibody injection increased the number of trigeminal ganglion neurons labeled with DiI (paired t-test, p < 0.05). Immunoreactivity of the semaphorin 3A receptor, neuropilin-1, was also detected at the proximal stump at postoperative day 1. These results suggest that nerve injury initiates semaphorin 3A production in ganglion neurons, which is then delivered through the nerve fibers to the proximal end, thereby contributes to the inhibition of axonal sprouting from the proximal region of injured nerves in the distal direction. To our knowledge, this is the first report to reveal the involvement of Sema3A in the nerve regeneration process at its early stage.

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