X-Message-Number: 13231
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2000 09:15:02 -0800 (PST)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: medline article on polyethylene glycol

  Shi R.  Borgens RB.  Blight AR.
  Center for Paralysis Research, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Purdue
  University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.
  Functional reconnection of
  severed mammalian spinal cord axons with polyethylene
  Journal of Neurotrauma.  16(8):727-38, 1999 Aug.
  We describe a technique using the water-soluble polymer polyethylene glycol
  (PEG) to reconnect the two segments of completely transected mammalian spinal
  axons within minutes. This was accomplished by fusing completely
  severed strips of isolated guinea pig thoracic white matter
  maintained in vitro in a double sucrose gap recording chamber. The faces of
  the severed segments were pressed together, and PEG (MW
  1,400-3,500 d; approximately 50% by weight in distilled water) was applied
  directly to this region through a micropipette and removed by aspiration
  within 2 min. Successful fusion was documented by the immediate restored
  conduction of compound action potentials through the original transection and
  by the variable numbers of fused axons in which anatomical continuity was
  shown to be restored by high-resolution light microscopy and by the diffusion
  of intracellular fluorescent dyes through fused axons. These data support the
  conclusion that some severed and subsequently PEG-fused
  spinal axons both demonstrate restored anatomical continuity and also are
  physiologically competent to conduct action potentials. This work adds to our
  previous demonstration that PEG application can immediately repair severely
  crushed, rather than cut, spinal cord white matter, and may lead to novel
  treatments for acute trauma to the central and peripheral nervous systems.

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