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Sprouting Of Motor Nerves In Adult Muscles: A Recapitulation Of Ontogeny

M. Brown
Published 1984 · Biology

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When some of the motor nerves innervating a muscle degenerate for any reason, the remaining intact motor axons develop new outgrowths called collateral sprouts which innervate the denervated muscle fibres. This striking example of ‘plasticity' in the adult has been known for at least 100 years and was first held to be a pathological effect triggered by the damage caused by the degenerating axons. More recent studies favour the view that the new growth is stimulated in essentially the same way that embryonic motor axons are made to branch when they first arrive in developing muscles.
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