Protein synthesis and fast axonal transport in regenerating goldfish retinal ganglion cells
To characterize the fast component of axonal transport in regenerating goldfish optic axons, the incorporation of L-2,3-[3H]proline into newly-synthesized proteins in the cell bodies of the retinal ganglion cells and the amount of transported labeled protein were determined at 2-36 days after cutting the optic tract. Both the incorporation and the amount of transported protein had doubled by 10 days after the lesion and continued to increase to about 5 times normal at 15 days, a time when a large proportion of the regenerating axon population had reached the optic tectum. Near-normal levels were recovered by 36 days. In contralateral control neurons, the incorporation of L-2,3-[3H]proline was unchanged from normal throughout, whereas the amount of labeled transported protein entering control axons was decreased by 55% at 2 and 10 days after the testing lesion, returning to normal by 15 days. An increase in fast transport velocity was seen in the regenerating axons beginning at 10 days after the lesion. However, a similar velocity increase was also seen in the contralateral control axons and in undamaged axons following removal of the cerebral hemispheres. Therefore, the velocity increase was not a specific consequence of axotomy.