Together with ONFs, they make bundles of nerve fibres
that run from the nasal mucosa to the olfactory bulb, where the sense of smell is located.
When the nerve fibres
that carry smell become damaged, they are replaced by new nerve fibres
which re-enter the olfactory bulbs, the researchers explained in their study.
In particular, they investigated changes in the nerves and tissues around the arthritic joint, by using specific markers to label the different types of nerve fibres
and allow them to be visualized with a fluorescence microscope.
progress from the receptors through tiny holes in the roof of the nasal cavity and come together to form two structures called the olfactory bulbs.
Surrounding and protecting the nerve fibres
of the central nervous system is an important substance called myelin, which helps messages travel quickly and smoothly between the brain and the rest of the body.
The US team showed that regenerating nerve fibres
can reform connections after being guided to the right targets.
Professor James Fawcett's Cambridge-based team believes it is close to a clinical treatment that could allow nerve fibres
to regenerate within the spinal cord and encourage remaining nerve fibres
to work more effectively.
The computer programme, run over several days, took information about the length of nerve fibres
in the primate brain and neuronal connections called axons in the brain of a species of worm known as Caenorhabditis elegans.
Professor Geoffrey Raisman, who developed the technique, said: "When a blow to the shoulder pulls nerve fibres
out of the spinal cord, it's like pulling a plug out of a socket.
A substance called myelin protects the nerve fibres
of the central nervous system and helps the messages travel quickly and smoothly between the brain and the rest of the body.
Origin, course, and endings of abnormal enteric nerve fibres
in Hirschsprung's disease defined by whole-mount immunohistochemistry.
Once the nerve fibres
are reconnected, the tubing dissolves away.