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The ability of α-MSH to facilitate the recovery of sensorimotor nerve function following crush lesion is restricted to a critical period following such a lesion. This period coincided with the initiation of sprouting and the disappearance of the 150 kD neurofilament protein from the degenerating distal stump of the nerve.
Degenerating nerve contains a factor that is active in a bioassay system for MSH. This factor could not be detected in control nerves.
The hypothesis is forwarded that a neurotrophic factor known to be present in degenerating nerve stumps is an α-MSH-like peptide formed by the breakdown of the 150 kD neurofilament protein.
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Accepted: March 12, 1984
Received: March 5, 1984
☆This work was supported in part by the Princess Beatrixfonds.
© 1984 Published by Elsevier Inc.