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Role of thyroid hormones and their receptors in peripheral nerve regeneration.
Journal of neurobiology
After peripheral nerve injury in adult mammals, reestablishment of functional connections depends on several parameters including neurotrophic factors, the extracellular matrix, and hormones. However, little is known about the contribution of hormones to peripheral nerve regeneration. Thyroid hormones, which are required for the development and maturation of the central nervous system, are also important for the development of peripheral nerves. The action of triiodothyronine (T3) on responsive cells is mediated through nuclear thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) which modulate the expression of specific genes in target cells. Thus, to study the effect of T3, it is first necessary to know whether the target tissues possess TRs. The fact that sciatic nerve cells possess functional TRs suggests that these cells can respond to T3 and, as a consequence, that thyroid hormone may be involved in peripheral nerve regeneration. The silicone nerve guide model provides an excellent system to study the action of local administration of T3. Evidence from such studies demonstrate that animals treated locally with T3 at the level of transection have more complete regeneration of sciatic nerve and better functional recovery. Among the possible regulatory mechanisms by which T3 enhances peripheral nerve regeneration is rapid action on both axotomized neurons and Schwann cells which, in turn, produce a lasting and stimulatory effect on peripheral nerve regeneration. It is probable that T3 up- or down-regulates gene expression of one or more growth factors, extracellular matrix, or cell adhesion molecules, all of which stimulate peripheral nerve regeneration. This could explain the greater effect of T3 on nerve regeneration compared with the effect of any one growth factor or adhesion molecule.
Animals, Humans, Nerve Regeneration, Peripheral Nerves, Receptors, Thyroid Hormone, Thyroid Hormones
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