Temporal progression and extent of the return of sensation in the foot provided by the saphenous nerve after sciatic nerve transection and repair in the rat - implications for nociceptive assessments.
ABSTRACT Sensory testing, by providing stimuli for nociceptors of the foot, is a popular method of evaluating sensory regeneration after damage to the sciatic nerve in the rat. In the following study, 20 rats were submitted to double transection of the sciatic nerve. The subsequent 14 mm gap was repaired through guidance interponation. In order to evaluate nerve regeneration, sensory testing was performed additionally to other methods, which included motor testing, morphometry, and electron microscopic assessments of nerves. Somatosensory testing revealed that all animals exhibited next to the same amount of sensory reinnervation on their foot regardless of their experimental group. In motor tests, however, two out of the three experimental groups did not improve at all. These groups also failed to show neural regrowth in morphometric and electron microscopic assessments of the associated nerve. Retrograde tracing was able to prove the saphenous nerve as an alternative source of sensory reinnervation in animals with failed sciatic regeneration. This means that results of sensory testing in the rat should be treated with caution, taking into account the areas tested and the likelihood that in these areas saphenous sprouting could have taken place. Furthermore, it is strongly advised that somatosensory testing should be conducted only on toe 5.
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ABSTRACT: Conventional nerve conduits lack cellular and extracellular guidance structures critical for bridging larger defects. In this study, an exogenous matrix for axonal regeneration was provided by pretreated muscle tissue. In 24 rats, 14-mm sciatic nerve segments were resected and surgically reconstructed using one of the following methods: autograft (AG); bovine type I collagen conduit; (MDM) collagen tube filled with modified denatured autologous muscle tissue. For 8 weeks, functional regeneration was evaluated by footprint and video gait analysis. Evaluation was complemented by electrophysiology, as well as qualitative and quantitative structural assessment of nerves and target muscles. Group AG was superior both structurally and functionally, showing higher axon counts, a more normal gait pattern, and less severe muscle atrophy. Fiber quality (fiber size and myelin thickness) was highest in group MDM, possibly related to the myelin-producing effect of muscular laminin. However, axon count was lowest in this group, and ultrastructural analysis of the denatured muscle tissue showed areas of incomplete denaturation that had acted as a mechanical barrier for regenerating axons. In light of these results, the often advocated use of muscular exogenous matrix for peripheral nerve reconstruction is reviewed in the literature, and its clinical application is critically discussed. In conclusion, combined muscle tubes may have a positive influence on nerve fiber maturation. However, muscle pretreatment is not without risks, and denaturation processes need to be further refined.Microsurgery 11/2011; 31(8):632-41. · 1.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Autologous tissues such as skeletal muscle have high biocampatibility and can effectively promote nerve regeneration compared to other biological and artificial materials; however, the reasonable and effective application of skeletal muscle requires further study. The purpose of this investigation was to assess the possibility of preparing a hollow nerve conduit, termed the epimysium conduit (EMC), using thin crimps of epimysium with skeletal muscle fibers and evaluate its effectiveness in repairing peripheral nerve defects. We prepared nerve conduits containing lumen with the external oblique muscle of the CAG-EFGP transgenic mice using microsurgical techniques for bridge repair of a 5-mm long sciatic nerve defect in wild-type mice. Systematic histological and functional assessments of the regenerated nerves were performed 8 and 12 weeks after surgery. EMC was found to effectively repair the sciatic nerve defect with significantly greater effectiveness than artificial conduits; however, the repair effect of EMC was lower than that of autologous nerve grafting for some parameters. In addition, our findings showed that some EMC-derived cell components migrated into the region of the regenerated nerves and contributed to reconstruction. Based on these findings, we conclude that a hollow conduit prepared with epimysium and a few skeletal muscle fibers is ideal for repairing peripheral nerve defects, and the cell components in the grafts contribute to nerve regeneration and structural remodeling, which provides an alternative option for the emergency primary repair of peripheral nerve defects in clinical practice.Biomaterials 04/2013; · 8.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sciatic nerve injury has been used for over a century to investigate the process of nerve damage, to assess the absolute and relative capacity of the central and peripheral nervous systems to recover after axotomy, and to understand the development of chronic pain in many pathologies. Here we provide an historical review of the contributions of this experimental model to our current understanding of fundamental questions in the neurosciences, and an assessment of its continuing capacity to address these and future problems. We describe the different degrees of nerve injury-neurapraxia, axonotmesis, neurotmesis - together with the consequences of selective damage to the different funcional and anatomic components of this nerve. The varied techniques used to model different degrees of nerve injury and their relationship to the development of neuropathic pain states are considered. We also provide a detailed anatomical description of the sciatic nerve from the spinal cord to the peripheral branches in the leg. A standardized protocol for carrying out sciatic nerve axotomy is proposed, with guides to assist in the accurate and reliable dissection of the peripheral and central branches of the nerve. Functional, histological, and biochemical criteria for the validation of the injury are described. Thus, this paper provides a review of the principal features of sciatic nerve injury, presents detailed neuroanatomical descriptions of the rat's inferior limb and spine, compares different modes of injury, offers material for training purposes, and summarizes the immediate and longterm consequences of damage to the sciatic nerve.Journal of neuroscience methods 01/2014; · 2.30 Impact Factor