Substance P, bombesin, and leucine-enkephalin immunoreactivities are restored in the frog tectum after optic nerve regeneration
Humphrey, MF and Renshaw, GMC and Kitchener, PD and Beazley, LD, Substance P, bombesin, and leucine-enkephalin immunoreactivities are restored in the frog tectum after optic nerve regeneration, Journal of Comparative Neurology, 354, (2) pp. 295-305. ISSN 0021-9967 (1995) [Refereed Article]
Extensive regeneration of the optic nerve takes place in adult Amphibia. In this study, we have determined whether one aspect of retinotectal organisation, namely immunoreactive laminae in the retinorecipient layers of the optic tectum, is restored after optic nerve regeneration. To do so, the distributions of substance-P, bombesin, and leucine-enkephalin immunoreactivities were examined in the optic tectum of the frog Litoria (Hyla) moorei. Results of a normal series were compared with those at intervals up to 84 days and at 196 days after either unilateral deafferentation or optic nerve crush. In the normal series, distinct neuropeptide immunoreactive laminae were located within the retinorecipient tectal layers. There were two major laminae with substance-P, two with bombesin, and one with leucine-enkephalin immunoreactivities. Additional faint laminae of both substance-P and bombesin immunoreactivity were present in the tectal region that receives input from the visual streak. In addition, labelling of cell bodies and dendrites was seen elsewhere in the tectum. All except one immunoreactive lamina changed after deafferentation. The deeper of those with substance-P immunoreactivity, along with both bombesin laminae, were eventually lost; the lamina with leucine-enkephalin immunoreactivity was halved in intensity. We assume that these laminae are wholely or, in the case of the leucine-enkephalin lamina, partially associated with primary optic input. By contrast, the more superficial lamina with substance-P immunoreactivity remained unchanged and is presumably not directly related to visual input. During nerve regeneration, the intensity of all laminae associated with optic input initially fell as in the deafferentation series but, in the long term, recovered to approximately 80% of normal intensities. We conclude that ganglion cells associated with each of the immunoreactivities tested had successfully regenerated. The reduced intensity of immunoreactivities after regeneration is due presumably in part to the cell loss from the ganglion cell population. Furthermore, we discuss the findings of similar studies for Rana pipiens (Kuljis and Karten  J. Comp. Neurol. 217:239-251 and  240:1-15) in light of the present findings. We argue that some of the previous observations can be reinterpreted to indicate that regeneration was not limited to ganglion cells associated with substance-P immunoreactivity as first thought.