A potential role of Schwann cells in spinal nerve roots in autoimmune central nervous system diseases
The expression of nestin and vimentin in the spinal nerve roots of rats with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) was studied to ascertain whether Schwann cells in the peripheral nerves respond to acute central nervous system autoimmune injury. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that nestin was constitutively expressed in the dorsal roots of spinal nerves in control rats; its expression was enhanced in the spinal nerve roots of rats with EAE. Vimentin expression was weak in control rat spinal nerve roots, and it was increased in the dorsal roots of rats with EAE. It is postulated that normal animals have multipotent progenitor cells that constitutively express nestin and vimentin in the spinal nerve roots. In response to an injury of the central nervous system, these multipotent Schwann cells are activated in the spinal nerve roots through the expression of the intermediate filament proteins vimentin and nestin.
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