Confocal imaging of Schwann-cell migration along muscle-vein combined grafts used to bridge nerve defects in the rat.
ABSTRACT Schwann cells guide axonal regrowth during peripheral nerve repair. In a case of a nerve lesion with substance loss, a graft conduit is necessary to enable axons to reach the distal nerve stump. If a non-nervous autograft is used, the question arises as to the presence and origin of Schwann cells along the grafted tube. We addressed this issue using a tubulization technique based on the use of an autologous vein filled with fresh skeletal muscle for the repair of sciatic nerve defects in the rat. We showed that both ends of the graft were early and progressively colonized by a number of glial fibrillar acid protein-immunopositive and S-100 immunonegative cells, an immunocytochemical pattern typical of immature Schwann cells. These cells, which were located in the interstice between grafted skeletal muscle fibers, are mainly organized into long chains oriented along the main axis of the graft and progressively colonize all the graft. Schwann cells coming from the distal nerve end are suitable for being responsible for guiding regeneration of nerve fibers along the graft toward the correct periphery (tissue specificity).
- SourceAvailable from: Daniel Hunter[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Repair of large nerve defects with acellular nerve allografts (ANAs) is an appealing alternative to autografting and allotransplantation. ANAs have been shown to be similar to autografts in supporting axonal regeneration across short gaps, but fail in larger defects due to a poorly-understood mechanism. ANAs depend on proliferating Schwann cells (SCs) from host tissue to support axonal regeneration. Populating longer ANAs places a greater proliferative demand on host SCs that may stress host SCs, resulting in senescence. In this study, we investigated axonal regeneration across increasing isograft and ANA lengths. We also evaluated the presence of senescent SCs within both graft type. A sciatic nerve graft model in rats was used to evaluate regeneration across increasing isograft (~autograft) and ANA lengths (20, 40, and 60mm). Axonal regeneration and functional recovery decreased with increased graft length and the performance of the isograft was superior to ANAs at all lengths. Transgenic Thy1-GFP rats and qRT-PCR demonstrated that failure of the regenerating axonal front in ANAs was associated with increased levels of senescence related markers in the graft (senescence associated β-galactosidase, p16(INK4A), and IL6). Lastly, electron microscopy (EM) was used to qualitatively assess senescence-associated changes in chromatin of SCs in each graft type. EM demonstrated an increase in the presence of SCs with abnormal chromatin in isografts and ANAs of increasing graft length. These results are the first to suggest that SC senescence plays a role in limited axonal regeneration across nerve grafts of increasing gap lengths.Experimental Neurology 05/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: : Successful nerve regeneration is critical to the functional success of composite tissue allografts. The present study was designed to characterize the effect of acute rejection on nerve regeneration and functional recovery in the setting of orthotopic limb transplantation. : A rat orthotopic limb transplantation model was used to evaluate the effects of acute rejection on nerve regeneration and motor recovery. Continuous administration of FK506 (full suppression), administration of FK506 for the first 8 of 12 weeks (late rejection), or delayed administration of FK506/dexamethasone following noticeable rejection (early rejection) was used to preclude or induce rejection following limb transplantation. Twelve weeks postoperatively, nerve regeneration was assessed by means of histomorphometric analysis of explanted sciatic nerve, and motor recovery was assessed by means of evoked muscle force measurement in extensor digitorum longus muscle. : A single episode of acute rejection that occurs immediately or late after reconstruction does not significantly alter the number of regenerating axonal fibers. Acute rejection occurring late after reconstruction adversely affects extensor digitorum longus muscle function in composite tissue allografts. : Collected data reinforce that adequate immunosuppressant administration in cases of allogeneic limb transplantation ensures levels of nerve regeneration and motor functional recovery equivalent to that of syngeneic transplants. Prompt rescue following acute rejection was further demonstrated not to significantly affect nerve regeneration and functional recovery postoperatively. However, instances of acute rejection that occur late after reconstruction affect graft function. In total, the present study begins to characterize the effect of immunosuppression regimens on nerve regeneration and motor recovery in the setting of composite tissue allografts.Plastic and reconstructive surgery 04/2013; 131(4):499e-511e. · 2.74 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Many surgical techniques are available for bridging peripheral nerve defects. Autologous nerve grafts are the current gold standard for most clinical conditions. In selected cases, alternative types of conduits can be used. Although most efforts are today directed towards the development of artificial synthetic nerve guides, the use of non-nervous autologous tissue-based conduits (biological tubulization) can still be considered a valuable alternative to nerve autografts. In this paper we will overview the advancements in biological tubulization of nerve defects, with either mono-component or multiple-component autotransplants, with a special focus on the use of a vein segment filled with skeletal muscle fibers, a technique that has been widely investigated in our laboratory and that has already been successfully introduced in the clinical practice.Journal of Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Injury 03/2014; 9(1):3.