We aimed to investigate the effects of umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells and erythropoietin on nerve regeneration in the sciatic nerve ‘crush injury’ in a rat model.
Experimental animals were randomly divided into 5 groups: Crush Injury, Sham, Crush Injury + Erythropoietin, Crush Injury + Mesenchymal Stem Cell, Crush Injury + Erythropoietin + Mesenchymal Stem Cell groups. Crush injury made with bulldog clamp. Mesencyhmal stem cells delivered by enjection locally. Erythropoietin administered by intraperitoneally. On the 0th, 14th and 28th days, all groups underwent a sciatic functional index test. On 28th day, sciatic nerves were harvested and histopathological appearance, axon number and axon diameter of the sciatic nerves were evaluated with Oil Red O staining. Immunoreactivity of nerve growth factor, neurofilament-H and caspase-3 were determined by immunofluorescence staining in nerve tissue.
In histopathological examination, axons and nerve bundles exhibiting normal nerve architecture in the Sham group. Crush Injury + Mesenchymal Stem Cell group has similar histological appearance to the Sham group. The number of axons were higher in the Mesenchymal Stem Cell groups compared to the Crush Injury group. Nerve growth factor immunoreactivity intensity was significantly lower in Crush Injury + Mesenchymal Stem Cell group compared to Crush Injury group. Neurofilament-H density was higher in the treatment groups when compared to the Crush Injury group.
In this study, it was found that umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells and erythropoietin treatments effects positively regeneration of crush injury caused by bulldog clamp in the sciatic nerve of rats.