Leukaemia inhibitory factor rescues motoneurones from axotomy-induced cell death

S. S. Cheema, L. J. Richards, M. Murphy, P. F. Bartlett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


The death of spinal motoneurones after axotomy provides a useful model for studying novel factors which prevent motoneurone loss in vivo. Peripheral nerves of newborn rats were unilaterally transected and treated with either a vehicle solution or leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF). Compared with the vehicle controls, treatment with a gelfoam containing LIF significantly reduced motoneurone loss: from 38% to 22% after 3 days and from 55% to 38% after 7 days. The loss of motoneurones was further reduced by placing the LIF-containing gelfoam inside a silicone chamber: from 39% to 15% after 7 days, which represented a 62% rescue. Thus, LIF is a potential therapeutic agent for preventing the loss of injured or diseased motoneurones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)989-992
Number of pages4
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 1994


  • Leukaemia inhibitory factor
  • LIF
  • Motoneurone disease
  • Motoneurone rescue
  • Spinal cord


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