Changes in the morphology and amino acid incorporation of regenerating goldfish optic neurons
Morphologic and metabolic changes occurring in the retinal ganglion cells of goldfish after optic tract section and during the regeneration of new axons are described. Normal retinal ganglion cells are small, with a centrally located nucleus which may or may not contain a detectable nucleolus, and sparse, palely staining cytoplasm. After optic tract section, the first detectable and quantitatively the most important morphologic event is an increase in the amount of nucleolar material, followed by an increase in amino acid incorporation and then by increased cytoplasmic basophilia and cellular hypertrophy. These changes reach a maximum 3 to 4 weeks after axotomy, corresponding to the time when the return of responses to visual stimuli can first be demonstrated. It is concluded that the morphologic changes are indicative of an increased rate of protein synthesis by cells which are actively regenerating new axons and that the increased rate of protein synthesis affects both the proteins that contribute to cellularhypertrophy and the proteins that are destined for transport along the axon, to about the same degree. © 1969.
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