Divalent cations and fast axonal transport in chemically desheathed (triton X-treated) frog sciatic nerve

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We have studied the ability of divalent cations to restore to normal axonal transport (AXT) which was inhibited by deprivation of Ca2+ and/or Mg2+ ions. The epi- and perineurium of the frog sciatic nerve were damaged by a 30-s wash in Triton X-100 containing frog Ringer's. This treatment did not affect either AXT or nerve levels of Ca2+ and Mg2+, but made the ions more easily extractable with a Ca2+- and Mg2+-free Ringer's solution (CMFR). Inhibition of AXT was achieved by incubating Triton X-100-treated nerves in CMFR + EGTA for 5 h, followed by an additional incubation for 12 h in CMFR or Ringer's devoid of only Ca2+ (CFR). These treatments reduced Ca2+ and Mg2+ contents by 77% and 38% respectively. Addition of Ca2+ (1.1 mM) during the 12-h period stimulated AXT, measured as accumulation of 3H-labelled components in front of a ligature, several fold. Mg2+ could not substitute for Ca2+ but potentiated the stimulating effect of Ca2+. Addition of other divalent cations did not affect AXT (Sr2+ and Ba2+) or potentiated the inhibition caused by Ca2+-deprived medium (Mn2+ and Co2+). ATP and creatine phosphate contents were similar in nerves incubated in Ca2+-deprived medium and in Ca2+-containing Ringer's. Thus, inhibition of AXT in the former situation was not due to a decreased availability of high energy phosphates. Two calcium antagonists, D-600 and nifedipin, which are potent smooth muscle relaxants, effectively blocked AXT. The present ressults suggest that Ca2+ is specifically required to maintain AXT and that an anlogy exists between Ca2+ regulation during smooth muscle contraction and AXT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-74
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1982 Jun 3

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cell Biology

Free keywords

  • axonal transport
  • calcium
  • calcium antagonists
  • divalent cations


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