A focused review of sciatic nerve regeneration in the rat model, based on research conducted by the authors, is presented. We examine structural proteins carried distally in the axon by energy-requiring motor enzymes, using protein chemistry and molecular biology techniques in combination with immunohistochemistry. Relevant findings from other laboratories are cited and discussed. The general conclusion is that relatively large amounts of actin and tubulin are required to construct a regenerating axon and that these materials mainly originate in the parent axon. The motor enzymes that carry these proteins forward as macromolecules include kinesin and dynein but probably also include myosin.
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