Van Neerven, 2013

2013 - Neuroscience. 2013 Nov 12;252:144-53.

Schwann cell migration and neurite outgrowth are influenced by media conditioned by epineurial fibroblasts

van Neerven SG, Pannaye P, Bozkurt A, Van Nieuwenhoven F, Joosten E, Hermans E, Taccola G, Deumens R.


The regenerative capacity of the peripheral nervous system is largely related to Schwann cells undergoing proliferation and migration after injury and forming growth-supporting substrates for severed axons. Novel data show that fibroblasts to a certain extent regulate the pro-regenerative behavior of Schwann cells. In the setting of peripheral nerve injury, the fibroblasts that form the epineurium come into close contact with both Schwann cells and peripheral axons, but the potential influence on these latter two cell types has not been studied yet. In the present study we explored whether culture media, conditioned by epineurial fibroblasts can influence Schwann cells and/or neurite outgrowth from dorsal root ganglia neurons in vitro. Our data indicate that epineurial fibroblast-conditioned culture media substantially increase Schwann cell migration and the outgrowth of neurites. Schwann cell proliferation remained largely unaffected. These same read-out parameters were assayed in a condition where epineurial fibroblasts were subjected to stretch-cell-stress, a mechanical stressor that plays an important role in traumatic peripheral nerve injuries. Stretch-cell-stress of epineurial fibroblasts did not further change the positive effects of conditioned media on Schwann cell migration and neurite outgrowth. From these data we conclude that an as yet unknown pro-regenerative role can be attributed to epineurial fibroblasts, implying that such cells may affect the outcome of severe peripheral nerve injury.


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