Comprehensive Physiology Wiley Online Library

Axonal Transport: The Intracellular Traffic of the Neuron

Full Article on Wiley Online Library



Abstract

The sections in this article are:

1 Anterograde Transport of Protein
1.1 Demonstration of Fast and Slow Components
1.2 Characteristics of the Fast and Slow Components
1.3 Postulated Mechanisms of Transport
1.4 Intermediate Rates of Protein Transport
2 Retrograde Transport of Protein
3 Transport of Materials Other than Protein
3.1 Phospholipids
3.2 Nucleotides and Related Compounds
3.3 Ribonucleic Acid
4 Functions of the Transported Material
4.1 Maintenance and Growth of the Axon
4.2 Renewal of the Plasma Membrane
4.3 Supply of Materials to Nerve Terminals
4.4 Release of Trophic Materials
4.5 Removal of Materials from Nerve Terminals
4.6 Initiation of the Cell Body Response to Axon Injury
4.7 Other Signals to the Cell Body
4.8 Structural Modification in Learning
5 Applications of the Principles of Axonal Transport
5.1 Neuroanatomy
5.2 Neurochemistry
5.3 Neuropathology
6 The Present Status of Axonal Transport: A Summary
Figure 1. Figure 1.

Distribution of radioactive protein in mouse optic nerve at various times after injection of [3H]leucine into the posterior chamber of the eye. Measurements were made by grain counting on autoradiograms of longitudinal sections of the nerves. Counts were normalized by calculating measurements at nerve origin as 100%.

From Taylor & Weiss
Figure 2. Figure 2.

Time course of appearance of axonally transported radioactive protein in optic nerve terminations after intraocular injection of [3H]leucine. A: optic tectum of goldfish. [Adapted from Grafstein et al. .] B: superior colliculus of mouse. [Adapted from Grafstein et al. .] Radioactivity was determined by liquid scintillation spectrometry of brain samples after fixation of the tissue in Bouin's solution (A) or by grain counting on autoradiograms (B). Data were normalized by calculating maximum radioactivity as 100%.

Figure 3. Figure 3.

Distribution of radioactive protein in cat sciatic nerve at various times after injection of [3H]leucine into dorsal root ganglion in lumbar region. Measurements were made by liquid scintillation spectrometry of nerve segments. Note logarithmic scale of ordinate.

From Ochs , copyright 1972 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Figure 4. Figure 4.

Distribution of radioactive protein in cat sciatic nerve at various times after injection of [3H]leucine into ventral horn of spinal cord in lumbar region. Measurements were made by liquid scintillation spectrometry. Note logarithmic scale for ordinate.

From Lasek
Figure 5. Figure 5.

Time course of appearance of radioactivity in various portions of presynaptic axons in chick ciliary ganglion after cell bodies of presynaptic axons were labeled by intracerebral injection of [3H]lysine. Measurements were made by grain counting on autoradiograms. Note larger proportion of radioactivity appearing at later time periods in preganglionic axons and preterminal segments

Modified from Droz et al.
Figure 6. Figure 6.

Axonally transported material in optic tectum of goldfish at various times after injection into one eye of [3H]leucine (A) and [3H]glucosamine (B). Measurements, made by liquid scintillation spectrometry, represent the difference between the tecta of the two sides, (L and R) since both tecta contain background radioactivity derived from label which had escaped from the eye into the bloodstream, whereas the transported material is conveyed to the tectum contralateral to the injected eye. TCA, trichloroacetic acid.

From Forman et al.
Figure 7. Figure 7.

Accumulation of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) in 1 cm of rat sciatic nerve immediately proximal to a ligation. Values are means ± SEM of the number of observations (small numerals). Norepinephrine content was determined by spectrophotofluorimetry after isolation of the norepinephrine on an ion‐exchange column.

From Dahlström & Häggendal
Figure 8. Figure 8.

Distribution of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in dog peroneal nerve 22 h after transection at two points to produce an isolated nerve segment 70 mm long. Acetylcholinesterase activity was measured in individual nerve segments a few millimeters in length by a biochemical technique. Note the accumulation of activity on the distal side of each transection, indicating retrograde transport of the enzyme. In some experiments the accumulation was significantly larger at the distal end of the isolated segment than at its proximal end

Redrawn from Lubińska & Niemierko
Figure 9. Figure 9.

Distribution of radioactivity in rabbit vagus nerve after application of 32P to the floor of the fourth ventricle. Data obtained by liquid scintillation spectrometry of nerve segments. Note logarithmic scale for ordinate

Modified from Miani
Figure 10. Figure 10.

Time course of arrival of labeled phospholipid in the left goldfish optic tectum following injection of [3H]glycerol into the right eye. Broken line, time course of arrival of labeled protein after corresponding injection of [3H]leucine (as in Fig. ). Each point is the mean of 5–6 animals. Radioactivity was determined by liquid scintillation counting of lipid fraction isolated by extracting acid‐fixed tecta with chloroform‐methanol (2:1). Measurements of transported radioactivity represent the difference between the left (L) and right (R) tecta. All values are given as per cent of 24‐h value.

From Grafstein et al.
Figure 11. Figure 11.

Distribution of radioactivity in chicken sciatic nerve at various times after injection of [3H]orotic acid into ventral horn of spinal cord in lumbar region. Acid‐soluble fraction (solid line) contains nucleotides and related compounds; acid‐insoluble fraction (broken line) consists of RNA. Measurements were made by liquid scintillation spectrometry of nerve segments after homogenization and acid extraction.

From Bray & Austin
Figure 12. Figure 12.

Time course of appearance of labeled trichloroacetic acid (TCA)‐soluble radioactivity (○—○) and labeled RNA (•—•) in left goldfish optic tectum after injection of [3H]guanosine into right eye. Measurements were made by liquid scintillation spectrometry of brain samples that had been homogenized and acid extracted. Transported material was measured as the difference between the amounts of radioactivity in the two tecta.

Modified from Ingoglia et al.


Figure 1.

Distribution of radioactive protein in mouse optic nerve at various times after injection of [3H]leucine into the posterior chamber of the eye. Measurements were made by grain counting on autoradiograms of longitudinal sections of the nerves. Counts were normalized by calculating measurements at nerve origin as 100%.

From Taylor & Weiss


Figure 2.

Time course of appearance of axonally transported radioactive protein in optic nerve terminations after intraocular injection of [3H]leucine. A: optic tectum of goldfish. [Adapted from Grafstein et al. .] B: superior colliculus of mouse. [Adapted from Grafstein et al. .] Radioactivity was determined by liquid scintillation spectrometry of brain samples after fixation of the tissue in Bouin's solution (A) or by grain counting on autoradiograms (B). Data were normalized by calculating maximum radioactivity as 100%.



Figure 3.

Distribution of radioactive protein in cat sciatic nerve at various times after injection of [3H]leucine into dorsal root ganglion in lumbar region. Measurements were made by liquid scintillation spectrometry of nerve segments. Note logarithmic scale of ordinate.

From Ochs , copyright 1972 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science


Figure 4.

Distribution of radioactive protein in cat sciatic nerve at various times after injection of [3H]leucine into ventral horn of spinal cord in lumbar region. Measurements were made by liquid scintillation spectrometry. Note logarithmic scale for ordinate.

From Lasek


Figure 5.

Time course of appearance of radioactivity in various portions of presynaptic axons in chick ciliary ganglion after cell bodies of presynaptic axons were labeled by intracerebral injection of [3H]lysine. Measurements were made by grain counting on autoradiograms. Note larger proportion of radioactivity appearing at later time periods in preganglionic axons and preterminal segments

Modified from Droz et al.


Figure 6.

Axonally transported material in optic tectum of goldfish at various times after injection into one eye of [3H]leucine (A) and [3H]glucosamine (B). Measurements, made by liquid scintillation spectrometry, represent the difference between the tecta of the two sides, (L and R) since both tecta contain background radioactivity derived from label which had escaped from the eye into the bloodstream, whereas the transported material is conveyed to the tectum contralateral to the injected eye. TCA, trichloroacetic acid.

From Forman et al.


Figure 7.

Accumulation of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) in 1 cm of rat sciatic nerve immediately proximal to a ligation. Values are means ± SEM of the number of observations (small numerals). Norepinephrine content was determined by spectrophotofluorimetry after isolation of the norepinephrine on an ion‐exchange column.

From Dahlström & Häggendal


Figure 8.

Distribution of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in dog peroneal nerve 22 h after transection at two points to produce an isolated nerve segment 70 mm long. Acetylcholinesterase activity was measured in individual nerve segments a few millimeters in length by a biochemical technique. Note the accumulation of activity on the distal side of each transection, indicating retrograde transport of the enzyme. In some experiments the accumulation was significantly larger at the distal end of the isolated segment than at its proximal end

Redrawn from Lubińska & Niemierko


Figure 9.

Distribution of radioactivity in rabbit vagus nerve after application of 32P to the floor of the fourth ventricle. Data obtained by liquid scintillation spectrometry of nerve segments. Note logarithmic scale for ordinate

Modified from Miani


Figure 10.

Time course of arrival of labeled phospholipid in the left goldfish optic tectum following injection of [3H]glycerol into the right eye. Broken line, time course of arrival of labeled protein after corresponding injection of [3H]leucine (as in Fig. ). Each point is the mean of 5–6 animals. Radioactivity was determined by liquid scintillation counting of lipid fraction isolated by extracting acid‐fixed tecta with chloroform‐methanol (2:1). Measurements of transported radioactivity represent the difference between the left (L) and right (R) tecta. All values are given as per cent of 24‐h value.

From Grafstein et al.


Figure 11.

Distribution of radioactivity in chicken sciatic nerve at various times after injection of [3H]orotic acid into ventral horn of spinal cord in lumbar region. Acid‐soluble fraction (solid line) contains nucleotides and related compounds; acid‐insoluble fraction (broken line) consists of RNA. Measurements were made by liquid scintillation spectrometry of nerve segments after homogenization and acid extraction.

From Bray & Austin


Figure 12.

Time course of appearance of labeled trichloroacetic acid (TCA)‐soluble radioactivity (○—○) and labeled RNA (•—•) in left goldfish optic tectum after injection of [3H]guanosine into right eye. Measurements were made by liquid scintillation spectrometry of brain samples that had been homogenized and acid extracted. Transported material was measured as the difference between the amounts of radioactivity in the two tecta.

Modified from Ingoglia et al.
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Bernice Grafstein. Axonal Transport: The Intracellular Traffic of the Neuron. Compr Physiol 2011, Supplement 1: Handbook of Physiology, The Nervous System, Cellular Biology of Neurons: 691-717. First published in print 1977. doi: 10.1002/cphy.cp010119