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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 936891, 6 pages
Review Article

ATP Release through Lysosomal Exocytosis from Peripheral Nerves: The Effect of Lysosomal Exocytosis on Peripheral Nerve Degeneration and Regeneration after Nerve Injury

1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, School of Medicine, Biomedical Science Institution, Kyung Hee University, Hoegi-Dong 1, Dongdaemun-Gu, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea
2Department of Pediatrics, Haeundae Paik Hospital, Inje University, 875 Haeun-daero, Haeundae-gu, Busan 612-896, Republic of Korea
3Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, Busan 602-714, Republic of Korea

Received 13 April 2014; Revised 29 May 2014; Accepted 16 June 2014; Published 30 June 2014

Academic Editor: W. David Arnold

Copyright © 2014 Junyang Jung et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Studies have shown that lysosomal activation increases in Schwann cells after nerve injury. Lysosomal activation is thought to promote the engulfment of myelin debris or fragments of injured axons in Schwann cells during Wallerian degeneration. However, a recent interpretation of lysosomal activation proposes a different view of the phenomenon. During Wallerian degeneration, lysosomes become secretory vesicles and are activated for lysosomal exocytosis. The lysosomal exocytosis triggers adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) release from peripheral neurons and Schwann cells during Wallerian degeneration. Exocytosis is involved in demyelination and axonal degradation, which facilitate nerve regeneration following nerve degeneration. At this time, released ATP may affect the communication between cells in peripheral nerves. In this review, our description of the relationship between lysosomal exocytosis and Wallerian degeneration has implications for the understanding of peripheral nerve degenerative diseases and peripheral neuropathies, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease or Guillain-Barré syndrome.