Vol. 122, No. 1 (Supplement) 2017
Supplement abstract

Degeneration and regeneration of peripheral nerves: role of thrombin and its receptor PAR-1

Published 2017-10-06


  • Schwann cells,
  • peripheral nervous system,
  • regeneration,
  • thrombin

How to Cite

Fabrizi, C., Pompili, E., Ciraci, V., Leone, S., Artico, M., Maras, B., Schininà, M., & Fumagalli, L. (2017). Degeneration and regeneration of peripheral nerves: role of thrombin and its receptor PAR-1. Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology, 122(1), 88. Retrieved from https://oajournals.fupress.net/index.php/ijae/article/view/1868


The peripheral nervous system has a striking regeneration potential and after damage extensive changes in the differentiation state both of the injured neurons and of the Schwann cells are observed. Schwann cells, in particular, undergo a large scale change in gene expression becoming able to support axonal regeneration. Nerve injury is generally associated to inflammation and activation of the coagulation cascade. Thrombin acts as a polyfunctional signalling molecule exerting its physiological function through soluble target proteins and G-protein-coupled receptors, the protease-activated receptors (PARs) [1]. Recently, we have demonstrated that the activation of the main thrombin receptor, PAR-1, in Schwann cells favours their regenerative potential determining the release of factors which promote axonal regrowth [2]. The pro-regenerative potential of thrombin seems to be exerted in a narrow range of concentrations (pM-nM range). In fact, our preliminary data indicate that high levels of thrombin in the micromolar range slow down Schwann cell proliferation and induce cell death. On the contrary, PAR-1 activating peptides mimic the pro-survival but not the pro-apoptotic effects of thrombin. Controlling thrombin concentration may preserve neuronal health during nerve injury and represent a novel target for pharmacologic therapies.