Nerve degeneration and regeneration in the cephalopod mollusc Octopus vulgaris: the case of the pallial nerve
Regeneration is a process that restores structure and function of tissues damaged by injury or disease. In mammals complete regeneration is often unsuccessful, while most of the low phyla animals can re-grow many parts of their body after amputation. Cephalopod molluscs, and in particular Octopus vulgaris, are well known for their capacity to regenerate their arms and other body parts, including central and peripheral nervous system. To better understand the mechanism of recovery following nerve injury in this species we investigated the process of axon regrowth and nerve regeneration after complete transection of the Octopus pallial nerves. This injury induces scar formation and activates the proliferation of hemocytes which invade the lesion site. Hemocytes appear involved in debris removal and seem to produce factors that foster axon re-growth. Connective tissue is involved in driving regenerating fibers in a single direction, outlining for them a well-defined pathway. Injured axons are able to quickly re-grow thus to restoring structure and function.
[…] Images were processed with IMARIS 64 7.5 (Bitplane Inc.) for nuclear and mitotic cells counting and neurofilament area calculation. The analysis has been carried out from ten serial sections (stacks, 20 μm thick) of each area of interest (N = 9, three for each time-point). Statistics and box-and-whisker plots were generated using SPSS version 14.0 (SPSS Inc). Data were tested for normality and Student’s t-test was applied according to Zar. Differences were considered significant at p < 0.05. […]
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