Progressive brain damage accelerates axon sprouting in the adult rat

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Science  19 Aug 1977:
Vol. 197, Issue 4305, pp. 795-797
DOI: 10.1126/science.887924


An entorhinal cortical lesion causes undamaged fibers in the deafferented hippocampus to sprout and form new connections within 4 to 7 days after the lesion was made. When a partial lesion of the entorhinal cortex precedes a second, more complete entorhinal lesion by a few days, the rate of axon sprouting is accelerated so that the response to the second lesion occurs within only 2 days. This priming effect is present within 4 days, lasts for a few weeks, and eventually subsides. This acceleration may explain, in part, the faster recovery and reduced deficits seen in behavioral studies that have followed serial lesion paradigms.