Wallerian degeneration is an active program tightly associated with axonal degeneration, required for axonal regeneration and functional recovery after nerve damage. Here we provide a functional molecular foundation for our undertstanding of the complex non-cell autonomous role of glial cells in the regulation of axonal degeneration. To shed light on the complexity of the molecular machinery governing axonal degeneration we employ a multi-model, unbiased, in vivo approach combining morphological assesment and quantitative proteomics with in silico-based higher order functional clustering to genetically uncouple the intrinsic and extrinsic processes governing Wallerian degeneration. Highlighting a pivotal role for glial cells in the early stages fragmenting the axon by a cytokinesis-like process and a cell autonomous stage of axonal disintegration associated to mitochondrial dysfunction.
- Journal article