Axonal fragmentation progresses asynchronously as a localised wave along individual axons in a anterograde or retrograde direction A-D: Graphs showing the number of axonal breaks along individual YFP labelled axons with anterograde gradient of fragmentation in relation to the distance in mm from the transection point 37 h (A), 40 h (B), 41 h (C) and 42 h (D) after cut lesion. Note that with increasing distance from the transection, axon lengths with marked fragmentation abruptly change into lengths with no or just a few axonal breaks, indicating that Wallerian degeneration progresses with a localised fragmentation wave front. Additionally note the variable localisation of the fragmentation wave front along different axons at one timepoint representing the asynchronity of Wallerian degeneration among the axon population. E-H: Graphs showing the number of axonal breaks along individual YFP labelled axons with retrograde gradient of fragmentation in relation to the distance in mm from the crush point 40 h (E), 42 h (F), 43 h (G) and 44 h (H) after crush lesion. Note that with increasing distance from the crush point axon lengths without any features of fragmentation abruptly change into lengths containing axonal breaks. Asynchronity of progression of Wallerian degeneration along individual axons is also apparent after crush lesion.
Beirowski et al. BMC Neuroscience 2005 6:6 doi:10.1186/1471-2202-6-6