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The insulin-like growth factors I and II stimulate proliferation of different types of Schwann cells

Sondell, Mariann1,2; Fex-Svenningsen, Åsa1; Kanje, Martin1

Regeneration and Transplantation

A combination of immunocytochemistry for glial specific antigens and bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and teasing was used to identify proliferating cells in cultured rat sciatic nerve segments. The nerve segments were exposed to insulin, or the insulin-like growth factors IGF-I and IGF-II. Teasing in combination with BrdU immunocytochemistry showed that around 93% of the proliferating cells in the nerve segments were Schwann cells. Immunostaining for BrdU and GFAP (glial fibrillary acid protein) showed that IGF-II enhanced proliferation of Schwann cells surrounding umyelinated nerve fibres. In contrast, truncated IGF-I promoted proliferation of Schwann cells of myelinated nerve fibres while insulin increased proliferation of both cell types.

1Department of Animal Physiology, Lund University, Helgonav 3B, S-223 62, Lund, Sweden

2Corresponding Author: Mariann Sondell

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This study was supported by grants from the Natural Science Research Council, Crafoords foundation and Royal Physiographical Society.

Received 20 June 1997; accepted 13 July 1997

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.