The Wlds mouse is a unique mutant strain that demonstrates the remarkable phenotype of prolonged survival of transected axons ("slow Wallerian degeneration"). In these studies, we tested whether this neuroprotective phenotype extends to axonal degeneration seen in a progressive peripheral neuropathy. Wlds and wild-type mice were intoxicated with the cancer chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel (Taxol). The severity of the resultant sensory neuropathy was compared with behavioral, physiological, and pathological measures. Wlds mice were resistant to paclitaxel neuropathy by all measures, and the resistance was because of protection against axonal degeneration. These studies demonstrate for the first time that the Wlds mouse is more than a slow Wallerian degeneration phenotype, emphasizing the mechanistic link between Wallerian degeneration and peripheral neuropathy. Understanding how this mutant gene confers protection against axonal degeneration will provide important clues toward prevention of axonal degeneration in several human neurological disorders.