Explant of trigeminal ganglia neurons in adult rats induces perineuronal glial proliferation of primarily satellite cells as opposed to Schwann cells. This proliferation begins at 15 h after explant culture and by 27 h there is a significant increase in glial proliferation as measured by scintillation counts of [3H]thymidine. Blocking protein synthesis between 0 and 3.5 h after explant culture (early) results in an enhanced proliferative response, while blocking protein synthesis between 3.5 and 7 h (late) causes a complete block of the proliferative response assessed at 27 h. Conditioned media experiments demonstrate that both the mitogenic and inhibitory signals are diffusible and heat labile. Finally, the addition of neurotrophic factors to rescue injured ganglionic neurons attenuates the proliferative glial response suggesting that injured neurons produce and release signals that induce glial proliferation.

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