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Factors promoting neurite outgrowth during deer antler regeneration

Factors promoting neurite outgrowth during deer antler regeneration

Journal of Neuroscience Research 88(14): 3034-3047

Every year male deers completely regenerate their antlers. During this process, antlers are reinnervated by sensory fibers, growing at the highest rate recorded for any adult mammal. Despite its clinical potential, only a few studies have dealt with this fascinating phenomenon. Among the possible factors underlying fast growth of the antler's innervation, the effects of the antler's endocrine and paracrine factors were evaluated, using an in vitro assay for sensory neurite growth. We found that soluble molecules secreted by the velvet, the modified skin that covers the antler, strongly promote neurite outgrowth. Using specific blocking antibodies, we demonstrated that nerve growth factor is partially responsible for these effects, although other unidentified molecules are also involved. On the contrary, neither endocrine serum factors nor antler substrates promoted neurite outgrowth, although antler substrata from deep velvet layers cause neurite outgrowth orientation. Taken together, our results point to the existence in the deep velvet of an environment that promotes oriented axon growth, in agreement with the distribution of the antler innervation.

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Accession: 053198322

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 20629188

DOI: 10.1002/jnr.22459

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