Using proteomics, We investigated the temporal expression profiles of proteins in rat sciatic nerve after experimental crush. Extracts of sciatic nerves collected at 5, 10, and 35 days after injury were analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and quantitative image analysis. Of the ∼1,500 protein spots resolved on each gel, 121 showed significant regulation during at least one time point. Using cluster analysis, these proteins were grouped into two expression profiles of down-regulation and four of up-regulation. These profiles mainly reflected differences in cellular origins in addition to different functional roles. Mass spectrometric analysis identified 82 proteins pertaining to several functional classes, i.e. acute-phase proteins, antioxidant proteins, and proteins involved in protein synthesis/maturation/degradation, cytoskeletal (re)organization, and in lipid metabolism. Several proteins not previously implicated in nerve regeneration were identified, e.g. translationally controlled tumor protein, annexin A9/31, vitamin D-binding protein, α-crystallin B, α-synuclein, dimethylargininases, and reticulocalbin. Real-time PCR analysis of selected genes showed which were expressed in the nerve versus the dorsal root ganglion neurons. In conclusion, this study highlights the complexity and temporal aspect of the molecular process underlying nerve regeneration and points to the importance of glial and inflammatory determinants. © 2005 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.