Lesions to the CNS/PNS interface are especially severe, leading to elevated neuronal degeneration. In the present work, we establish the ventral root crush model for mice, and demonstrate the potential of such an approach, by analyzing injury evoked motoneuron loss, changes of synaptic coverage and concomitant glial responses in β2-microglobulin knockout mice (β2m KO). Young adult (8-12 weeks old) C57BL/6J (WT) and β2m KO mice were submitted to a L4-L6 ventral roots crush. Neuronal survival revealed a time-dependent motoneuron-like cell loss, both in WT and β2m KO mice. Along with neuronal loss, astrogliosis increased in WT mice, which was not observed in β2m KO mice. Microglial responses were more pronounced during the acute phase after lesion and decreased over time, in WT and KO mice. At 7 days after lesion β2m KO mice showed stronger Iba-1+ cell reaction. The synaptic inputs were reduced over time, but in β2m KO, the synaptic loss was more prominent between 7 and 28 days after lesion. Taken together, the results herein demonstrate that ventral root crushing in mice provides robust data regarding neuronal loss and glial reaction. The retrograde reactions after injury were altered in the absence of functional MHC-I surface expression.