Abstract

The epithelial cell layer of human amnion membrane can be removed while the basement membrane and stromal surfaces remain morphologically intact. Such a preparation has been used as a substratum for the in vitro culture of dissociated neurons. Embryonic motor neurons from chick ciliary ganglion attached to both surfaces but grew extensive neurites only on the basement membrane. On cross sections of rolled amnion membranes, regenerating axons of cultured neurons were guided along pathways of basement membrane that were immunoreactive with an antibody to laminin. In addition, when rolled amnion membranes were implanted into a lesion cavity between the rat septum and hippocampus, cholinergic neurons extended axons through the longitudinally oriented implant into the hippocampus. Thus, this amnion preparation can serve as a bridge to promote axonal regeneration in vivo in damaged adult brain.