We compared the neuroprotective effects of a liver-type isoform of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-IEa) and its splice variant, mechano-growth factor (MGF), isolated from active skeletal muscle. cDNAs of these peptides were injected into the facial muscle of adult rats prior to facial nerve avulsion. This resulted in significant neuroprotection of 88% and 37%, respectively, of motoneurons compared to control plasmid and avulsion-only groups. MGF is markedly more effective than the liver-type, systemic IGF-I for motoneuron survival, suggesting a major role for the peripheral target in adult neuronal maintenance and survival.
- Facial nerve
- Motor systems and sensorimotor integration
- Spinal cord and brainstem