Despite advances in surgical techniques for peripheral nerve repair, functional restitution remains incomplete. The timing of surgery is one factor influencing the extent of recovery but it is not yet clearly defined how long a delay may be tolerated before repair becomes futile. In this study, rats underwent sciatic nerve transection before immediate (0) or 1, 3, or 6 months delayed repair with a nerve graft. Regeneration of spinal motoneurons, 13 weeks after nerve repair, was assessed using retrograde labeling. Nerve tissue was also collected from the proximal and distal stumps and from the nerve graft, together with the medial gastrocnemius (MG) muscles. A dramatic decline in the number of regenerating motoneurons and myelinated axons in the distal nerve stump was observed in the 3- and 6-months delayed groups. After 3 months delay, the axonal number in the proximal stump increased 2–3 folds, accompanied by a smaller axonal area. RT-PCR of distal nerve segments revealed a decline in Schwann cells (SC) markers, most notably in the 3 and 6 month delayed repair samples. There was also a progressive increase in fibrosis and proteoglycan scar markers in the distal nerve with increased delayed repair time. The yield of SC isolated from the distal nerve segments progressively fell with increased delay in repair time but cultured SC from all groups proliferated at similar rates. MG muscle at 3- and 6-months delay repair showed a significant decline in weight (61% and 27% compared with contra-lateral side). Muscle fiber atrophy and changes to neuromuscular junctions were observed with increased delayed repair time suggestive of progressively impaired reinnervation. This study demonstrates that one of the main limiting factors for nerve regeneration after delayed repair is the distal stump. The critical time point after which the outcome of regeneration becomes too poor appears to be 3-months.
As effectiveness of the autologous graft in the repair of long nerve defects is
very limited an effective substitute is needed. This study was conducted to determine the
poled polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) tube as an alternative to nerve autograft.
Materials and Methods:
The left sciatic nerve was transected in 45 male Wistar rats. The
animals were then divided randomly into three groups: in an epineural group the nerve
was sutured end to end; in an autograft group a 10 mm piece of sciatic nerve was cut,
rotated 180° and sutured in the nerve gap; and in a nerve guidance channel group (NGC),
PVDF, tube containing nerve growth factor (NGF) and collagen gel was placed in the gap.
In a control (n=15) group the sciatic nerve was exposed but not transected. To determine
axonal regeneration, retrograde DiI tracer was injected into the gastrocnemius muscle.
One week later, retrograde-labeled neurons were counted in the L4-L6 spinal segments
and one way ANOVA analysis was performed to compare groups. Neuronal morphology
changes were studied by electron microscopy.
Significant statistical decreases in the mean number of labeled motoneurons
were observed in all surgical groups compared to the control group; and in the autograft
and the NGC groups compared to epinural suture group (p<0.01). No significant difference
in the mean number of motoneurons was observed between the autograft and NGC
groups. Chromatin condensation, dilated endoplasmic reticulum and large vacuoles were
observed in the autograft and NGC groups.
Regarding the positive effects of PVDF tube containing NGF and Collagen
gel on the sciatic nerve regeneration, authors suggest that it may be useful in peripheral
NGF; Sciatic Nerve; Nerve Injury; Spinal Cord; Motor Neuron
The objective was to determine the effect of diet induced obesity (DIO) on microvascular and neural function.
Rats were fed a standard or high fat diet for up to 32 weeks. Measurements were performed of vasodilation in epineurial arterioles by videomicroscopy, endoneurial blood flow by hydrogen clearance, nerve conduction velocity by electrical stimulation, size-frequency distribution of myelinated fibers of the sciatic nerve, intraepidermal nerve fiber density using confocal microscopy and thermal nociception using the Hargreaves method.
Rats fed a high fat diet for 32 weeks developed sensory neuropathy as indicated by slowing of sensory nerve conduction velocity and thermal hypoalgesia. Motor nerve conduction velocity and endoneurial blood flow were not impaired. Mean axonal diameter of myelinated fibers of the sciatic nerve was unchanged in high fat fed rats compared to control. Intraepidermal nerve fiber density was significantly reduced in high fat fed rats. Vascular relaxation to acetylcholine and calcitonin gene-related peptide was decreased and expression of neutral endopeptidase (NEP) increased in epineurial arterioles of rats fed a high fat diet. In contrast, insulin-mediated vascular relaxation was increased in epineurial arterioles. NEP activity was significantly increased in the skin of the hindpaw. Markers of oxidative stress were increased in the aorta and serum of high fat fed rats but not in epineurial arterioles.
Chronic obesity causes microvascular and neural dysfunction. This is associated with increased expression of NEP but not oxidative stress in epineurial arterioles. NEP degrades vasoactive peptides which may explain the decrease in microvascular function.
Obesity; vascular function; neutral endopeptidase; neuropathy
There is a need for complementary surgical techniques that enable rapid and reliable primary repair of transected nerves. Previous studies after peripheral nerve transection and repair with synthetic adhesives have demonstrated regeneration to an extent comparable to that of conventional techniques. The aim of this study was to compare two different repair techniques on the selectivity of muscle reinnervation after repair and completed regeneration. We used the cholera toxin B technique of retrograde axonal tracing to evaluate the morphology, the number, and the three-dimensional location of α-motoneurons innervating the lateral gastrocnemius muscle and compared the results after repair with either ethyl cyanoacrylate (ECA) or epineural sutures of the transected parent sciatic nerve. In addition, we recorded the wet weight of the muscle. Six months after transection and repair of the sciatic nerve, the redistribution of the motoneuron pool was markedly disorganized, the motoneurons had apparently increased in number, and they were scattered throughout a larger volume of the spinal cord gray matter with a decrease in the synaptic coverage compared to controls. A reduction in muscle weight was observed as well. No difference in morphometric variables or muscle weight between the two repair methods could be detected. We conclude that the selectivity of motor reinnervation following sciatic nerve transection and subsequent repair with ECA is comparable to that following conventional micro suturing.
nerve repair; cyanoacrylate; synthetic adhesive; retrograde tracing; gastrocnemius muscle; spinal misdirection; sciatic nerve; peripheral nerve
Age is an important predictor of neuromuscular recovery after peripheral nerve injury. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a potent neurotrophic factor that is known to decline with increasing age. The purpose of this study was to determine if locally delivered IGF-1 would improve nerve regeneration and neuromuscular recovery in aged animals. Young and aged rats underwent nerve transection and repair with either saline or IGF-1 continuously delivered to the site of the nerve repair. After 3 months, nerve regeneration and neuromuscular junction morphology were assessed. In both young and aged animals, IGF-1 significantly improved axon number, diameter, and density. IGF-1 also significantly increased myelination and Schwann cell activity and preserved the morphology of the postsynaptic neuromuscular junction (NMJ). These results show that aged regenerating nerve is sensitive to IGF-1 treatment.
aging; IGF-1; nerve injury; nerve regeneration; neuromuscular junction
After surgical transection, corneal nerves regenerate to achieve normal density but do not readopt the normal arrangement. Myelinated nerve fibers also regenerate along with nociceptive nerve fibers in the central corneal stroma.
To determine the effect of lamellar transection surgery on the nerve fiber density (NFD) and pattern of nerve regeneration in the cornea of thy1-YFP transgenic mice.
Wide-field stereo fluorescence microscopy was used to obtain serial images of nerves in live thy1-YFP mice, which express a fluorescent protein in their axons. NFD (mm/mm2) was calculated from maximum intensity projection images as the total length of fibers within the area of the contour in which nerves were traced. Whole-mount confocal microscopy was performed to analyze the arrangement of nerves and the types of regenerating fibers.
NFD in normal corneas was 35.3 ± 1.8 mm/mm2. Stereo fluorescence microscopy revealed the presence of a subbasal hairpin nerve layer and an intrastromal nerve trunk layer. After surgery, regenerative sprouting was observed from transected distal ends of intrastromal nerve trunks. NFD also increased, with this increase being maximal between 4 and 6 weeks after surgery. NFD approximated baseline values at 6 weeks and did not change any further at 8 weeks. Regenerated nerves did not readopt the normal corneal nerve arrangement. A dense interlacing network of regenerated nerves was present in the corneal bed. Branches from this network traversed the flap to innervate the epithelium. Immunofluorescence staining revealed that regenerating fronds contained peptidergic nociceptive fibers (positive for calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance P) and myelinated non-nociceptive fibers (positive for neurofilament 200).
Although corneal NFD recovers to normal levels by 8 weeks after nerve transection, the arrangement of regenerated nerves is abnormal.
Quantitative histomorphometry is the current gold standard for objective measurement of nerve architecture and its components. Many methods still in use rely heavily upon manual techniques that are prohibitively time consuming, predisposing to operator fatigue, sampling error, and overall limited reproducibility. More recently, investigators have attempted to combine the speed of automated morphometry with the accuracy of manual and semi-automated methods. Systematic refinements in binary imaging analysis techniques combined with an algorithmic approach allow for more exhaustive characterization of nerve parameters in the surgically relevant injury paradigms of regeneration following crush, transection, and nerve gap injuries. The binary imaging method introduced here uses multiple bitplanes to achieve reproducible, high throughput quantitative assessment of peripheral nerve. Number of myelinated axons, myelinated fiber diameter, myelin thickness, fiber distributions, myelinated fiber density, and neural debris can be quantitatively evaluated with stratification of raw data by nerve component. Results of this semi-automated method are validated by comparing values against those obtained with manual techniques. The use of this approach results in more rapid, accurate, and complete assessment of myelinated axons than manual techniques.
This study evaluated an implantable electrical stimulator using a sciatic nerve injury animal model, and ethological, electrophysiological and histological assessments. Forty Sprague-Dawley rats were used in the study, and were subjected to crushing of the right sciatic nerve with a micro-vessel clamp. Electrical stimulators were implanted in twenty of the rats (the implantation group), while the remaining twenty rats were assigned to the control group. At three and six weeks following the surgery, the sciatic nerve function index (SFI) and the motor nerve conduction velocity (MCV) were demonstrated to be significantly higher in the implantation group compared with the control group (P<0.05). Histological analysis, using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining, showed the typical pathological atrophy, and an assessment of the nerve that had been crushed revealed distal axonal breakdown in the control group. These results suggest that the implantable electrical stimulator was effective, and was suitable for implantation in a Sprague-Dawley rat model.
implantable stimulator; animal model; electrical stimulation; peripheral nerve injury
There is no consensus about the best time to start exercise after peripheral nerve injury. We evaluated the morphological and functional characteristics of the sciatic nerves of rats that began to swim immediately after crush nerve injury (CS1), those that began to swim 14 days after injury (CS14), injured rats not submitted to swimming (C), and uninjured rats submitted to swimming (S). After 30 days the number of axons in CS1 and CS14 was lower than in C (P < 0.01). The diameter of axons and nerve fibers was larger in CS1 (P < 0.01) and CS14 (P < 0.05) than in C, and myelin sheath thickness was lower in all crushed groups (P < 0.05). There was no functional difference between CS1 and CS14 (P > 0.05). Swimming exercise applied during the acute or late phase of nerve injury accelerated nerve regeneration and synaptic elimination after axonotmesis, suggesting that exercise may be initiated immediately after injury.
Prosaposin is both a precursor of sphingolipid activator proteins and a secreted neurotrophic and myelinotrophic factor. Because peripheral nerve regeneration is impaired in diabetes mellitus, we measured prosaposin protein levels from control and streptozotocin-diabetic rats by collecting endoneurial fluid secreted into a bridging tube connecting the ends of transected sciatic nerve. Prosaposin protein levels were significantly reduced in endoneurial fluid from diabetic rats and increased in the proximal nerve stump compared to controls. To investigate whether a prosaposin-derived peptide could improve nerve regeneration, rats were treated with prosaptide TX14(A) following sciatic nerve crush. In control rats, TX14(A) was without effect in the uninjured nerve but shortened toe spread recovery time after nerve crush. In diabetic rats, efficacy of prosaptide TX14(A) was confirmed by correction of thermal hypoalgesia, formalin-evoked hyperalgesia and conduction slowing in the uninjured nerve. The peptide also prevented diabetes-induced abnormalities in nerve regeneration distance and mean axonal diameter of regenerated axons, whereas delayed recovery of toe spread was not improved. Muscle denervation atrophy was attenuated by TX14(A) in both control and diabetic rats. These results suggest that reduced prosaposin secretion after nerve injury may contribute to impaired regeneration rates in diabetic rats and that prosaptide TX14(A) can improve aspects of nerve regeneration.
Diabetes; Nerve regeneration; Prosaposin; Prosaptide TX14(A)
The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the use of an operating microscope improves the results of peripheral nerve repair. Tibial nerve grafting was carried out on 48 Fischer rats divided into 2 groups: in one, a loupe was used, and in the other a surgical microscope. At 5 months after grafting, recovery was evaluated by functional, electromyographic, and morphometric tests. The mean motor nerve conduction velocity was 26.77±9.37 m/sec in the group where the loupe was used compared with 44.19±11.36 m/s when the microscope group was used. The soleus muscle weight and the diameter of myelinated fibres also confirmed better regeneration in the microscope group. These results clearly indicate that it is essential to use the microscope for peripheral nerve repair.
To examine the mechanisms responsible for the more rapid nerve regeneration observed after a previous (conditioning) nerve injury, adult rats were subjected to a midthigh sciatic nerve transection by using one of three protocols designed to facilitate or restrict nerve regeneration: 1) ligation, in which transected axons were prevented from regenerating; 2) cut, in which transected axons were permitted to extend into peripheral target tissue but were separated from the denervated peripheral nerve stump; and 3) crush, in which axons could regenerate normally through the denervated distal nerve tract. The affected dorsal root ganglia (DRG) were subsequently removed, dissociated, and cultured for up to 3 days, and the timing of neurite initiation, rate of outgrowth, and arborization pattern of previously injured neurons were compared with control DRG. Our results indicate that conditioning lesions have at least four distinct and differentially regulated effects on neuronal morphogenesis: 1) conditioning lesions promote earlier neurite initiation, 2) prior nerve injury decreases the ability of neurons to extend long neurites following a second axotomy, 3) exposure to the environment of a denervated peripheral nerve stimulates greater initial rates of neurite outgrowth, and 4) conditioning lesions reduces initial neuritic branching frequency, resulting in straighter neurites whose growth cones extend further distances from their cell bodies. The primary effect of all conditioning lesions on cultured DRG neurons appeared to be to advance the timing of morphogenesis, resulting in conditioning-lesioned neurons that exhibited characteristics consistent with control neurons that had been cultured for an additional day or more. A secondary effect of conditioning lesions on neurite outgrowth rates was dependent on the local environment of the axons prior to culturing.
neurite outgrowth; neurite initiation; nerve regeneration; conditioning lesion; neurite arborization
The present study provides in vitro and in vivo evaluation of Paeoniae alba Radix (PR) on peripheral nerve regeneration. In the in vitro study, we found the PR caused a marked enhancement of the nerve growth factor-mediated neurite outgrowth from PC12 cells as well as their expression of growth associated protein 43 and synapsin I. In the in vivo study, silicone rubber chambers filled with the PR water extract were used to bridge a 10-mm sciatic nerve defect in rats. At the conclusion of 8 weeks, regenerated nerves in the PR groups, especially at 1.25 mg ml−1 had a higher rate of successful regeneration across the wide gap, relatively larger mean values of total nerve area, myelinated axon count and blood vessel number, and a significantly larger nerve conductive velocity compared to the control group (P < .05). These results suggest that the PR extract can be a potential nerve growth-promoting factor, being salutary in aiding the growth of injured peripheral nerve.
The localization of the neural cell adhesion molecules L1, N-CAM, and the myelin-associated glycoprotein was studied by pre- and postembedding staining procedures at the light and electron microscopic levels in transected and crushed adult mouse sciatic nerve. During the first 2-6 d after transection, myelinated and nonmyelinated axons degenerated in the distal part of the proximal stump close to the transection site and over the entire length of the distal part of the transected nerve. During this time, regrowing axons were seen only in the proximal, but not in the distal nerve stump. In most cases L1 and N- CAM remained detectable at cell contacts between nonmyelinating Schwann cells and degenerating axons as long as these were still morphologically intact. Similarly, myelin-associated glycoprotein remained detectable in the periaxonal area of the degenerating myelinated axons. During and after degeneration of axons, nonmyelinating Schwann cells formed slender processes which were L1 and N-CAM positive. They resembled small-diameter axons but could be unequivocally identified as Schwann cells by chronical denervation. Unlike the nonmyelinating Schwann cells, only few myelinating ones expressed L1 and N-CAM. At the cut ends of the nerve stumps a cap developed (more at the proximal than at the distal stump) that contained S-100-negative and fibronectin-positive fibroblast-like cells. Most of these cells were N-CAM positive but always L1 negative. Growth cones and regrowing axons expressed N-CAM and L1 at contact sites with these cells. Regrowing axons of small diameter were L1 and N- CAM positive where they made contact with each other or with Schwann cells, while large-diameter axons were only poorly antigen positive or completely negative. 14 d after transection, when regrowing axons were seen in the distal part of the transected nerve, regrowing axons made L1- and N-CAM-positive contacts with Schwann cells. When contacting basement membrane, axons were rarely found to express L1 and N-CAM. Most, if not all, Schwann cells associated with degenerating myelin expressed L1 and N-CAM. In crushed nerves, the immunostaining pattern was essentially the same as in the cut nerve. During formation of myelin, the sequence of adhesion molecule expression was the same as during development: L1 disappeared and N-CAM was reduced on myelinating Schwann cells and axons after the Schwann cell process had turned approximately 1.5 loops around the axon. Myelin-associated glycoprotein then appeared both periaxonally and on the turning loops of Schwann cells in the uncompacted myelin.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
We recently found that S100A4, a member of the multifunctional S100 protein family, protects neurons in the injured brain and identified two sequence motifs in S100A4 mediating its neurotrophic effect. Synthetic peptides encompassing these motifs stimulated neuritogenesis and survival in vitro and mimicked the S100A4-induced neuroprotection in brain trauma. Here, we investigated a possible function of S100A4 and its mimetics in the pathologies of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). We found that S100A4 was expressed in the injured PNS and that its peptide mimetic (H3) affected the regeneration and survival of myelinated axons. H3 accelerated electrophysiological, behavioral and morphological recovery after sciatic nerve crush while transiently delaying regeneration after sciatic nerve transection and repair. On the basis of the finding that both S100A4 and H3 increased neurite branching in vitro, these effects were attributed to the modulatory effect of H3 on initial axonal sprouting. In contrast to the modest effect of H3 on the time course of regeneration, H3 had a long-term neuroprotective effect in the myelin protein P0 null mice, a model of dysmyelinating neuropathy (Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 1 disease), where the peptide attenuated the deterioration of nerve conduction, demyelination and axonal loss. From these results, S100A4 mimetics emerge as a possible means to enhance axonal sprouting and survival, especially in the context of demyelinating neuropathies with secondary axonal loss, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 1 disease. Moreover, our data suggest that S100A4 is a neuroprotectant in PNS and that other S100 proteins, sharing high homology in the H3 motif, may have important functions in PNS pathologies.
Poor functional recovery found after peripheral nerve injury has been attributed to the misdirection of regenerating axons to reinnervate functionally inappropriate muscles. We applied brief electrical stimulation (ES) to the common fibular (CF) but not the tibial (Tib) nerve just prior to transection and repair of the entire rat sciatic nerve, to attempt to influence the misdirection of its regenerating axons. The specificity with which regenerating axons reinnervated appropriate targets was evaluated physiologically using compound muscle action potentials (M responses) evoked from stimulation of the two nerve branches above the injury site. Functional recovery was assayed using the timing of electromyography (EMG) activity recorded from the tibialis anterior (TA) and soleus (Sol) muscles during treadmill locomotion and kinematic analysis of hindlimb locomotor movements. Selective ES of the CF nerve resulted in restored M-responses at earlier times than in unstimulated controls in both TA and Sol muscles. Stimulated CF axons reinnervated inappropriate targets to a greater extent than unstimulated Tib axons. During locomotion, functional antagonist muscles, TA and Sol, were coactivated both in stimulated rats and in unstimulated but injured rats. Hindlimb kinematics in stimulated rats were comparable to untreated rats, but significantly different from intact controls. Selective ES promotes enhanced axon regeneration but does so with decreased fidelity of muscle reinnervation. Functional recovery is neither improved nor degraded, suggesting that compensatory changes in the outputs of the spinal circuits driving locomotion may occur irrespective of the extent of misdirection of regenerating axons in the periphery.
peripheral nerve; regeneration; electrical stimulation; neuromuscular specificity; electromyography; locomotion
Motor deficit and neuron degeneration is seen after nerve transection. The aim of this study is to determine whether a poled polyvinelidene fluoride (PVDF) tube with other supportive strategies can protect the neuronal morphology and motor function after sciatic nerve transaction in rats.
Materials and Methods
After transection of the left sciatic nerve in 60 male Wistar rats (200-250 g), the epineural group was sutured end to end. In the autograft rats, a 10 mm piece of sciatic nerve was rotated 180 °C and sutured back into the nerve gap. In the nerve guidance channel (NGC) group, polarized piezoelectric PVDF tube containing NGF and collagen gel was sutured in the gap. In control group sciatic nerve was removed (10 mm) without repair. After one, four and eight weeks, the L4-L6 spinal cord segment was removed for histological study using transmission electron microscope. Functional outcome was assessed using the Basso, Bresnahan and Beattie (BBB) locomotor scale at both four and eight weeks after the lesion.
Chromatin condensation was seen after 4 weeks in the repair groups. Cell membrane shrinkage and mitochondrial degeneration was observed after 4 and 8 weeks respectively, in the autografted and NGC rats. In the control group, chromatin condensation, cell membrane shrinkage with mitochondrial degeneration and vacuolization of perikaryon was seen after 1, 4 and 8 weeks, respectively. At 56 days, the functional recovery of the epineural rats significantly increased in comparison to the other groups (P< 0.05).
The epineural suture has more efficacies, and NGC may be used as a proper substitute for autograft in nerve injury.
Motor neuron; Rat; Recovery; Sciatic nerve
We have previously reported CNS and locomotor deficits in KCC3 knockout mice, an animal model of agenesis of the corpus callosum associated with peripheral neuropathy (ACCPN) (Howard, et al., 2002)). To assess the role of KCC3 in peripheral axon and/or myelin development and maintenance, we determined its expression and performed a detailed morphometric analysis of sciatic nerves. Sciatic nerves of juvenile wild-type mice, but not in adult, express KCC3. In the knockout, Schwann cell/myelin development appears normal at P3, but axons are swollen. At P8 and into P30, some fibers accumulate fluid periaxonally. These initial swelling pathologies are followed by myelin degeneration in adult nerves, leading to reduction in nerve conduction velocity. Mutant mice also exhibit decreased sensitivity to noxious pain. This evidence for swollen axons and fluid-related axonopathy, which ultimately result in neurodegeneration, implicates cell volume regulation as a critical component of peripheral nerve maintenance.
KCC3; Andermann syndrome; ACCPN; peripheral neuropathy; sciatic nerve; cell volume regulation; RVD; Schwann cell; axon; myelin
The localization of 3H-labeled cholesterol in nerves undergoing degeneration and regeneration was studied by radioautography at the electron microscope level. Two types of experiments were carried out: (a) Cholesterol-1,2-3H was injected intraperitoneally into suckling mice. 5 wk later, Wallerian degeneration was induced in the middle branch of the sciatic nerve, carefully preserving the collateral branches. The animals were then sacrificed at various times after the operation. During degeneration, radioactivity was found over myelin debris and fat droplets. In early stages of regeneration, radioactivity was found in myelin debris and regenerating myelin sheaths. Afterwards, radioactivity was found predominantly over the regenerated myelin sheaths. Radioactivity was also associated with the myelin sheaths of the unaltered fibers, (b) Wallerian degeneration was induced in the middle branch of the sciatic nerves of an adult mouse, preserving the collateral branches. Cholesterol-1,2-3H was injected 24 and 48 hr after the operation and the animal was sacrificed 6 wk later. Radioactivity was found in the myelin sheaths of the regenerated and unaltered fibers. The results from these experiments indicate that: (a) exogenous cholesterol incorporated into peripheral nerve during myelination remains within the nerve when it undergoes degeneration. Such cholesterol is kept in the myelin debris as an exchangeable pool from which it is reutilized for the formation of the newly regenerating fibers, especially myelin. (b) exogenous cholesterol incorporated into the nerves at the time that degeneration is beginning is also used in the formation of new myelin sheaths during regeneration, (c) mature myelin maintains its ability to incorporate cholesterol.
Peripheral nerve injury results in short-term and long-term changes in both neurons and glia. In the present study, immunohistological and immunoblot analyses were used to examine the expression of the neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM) and the neuron-glia cell adhesion molecule (Ng-CAM) within different parts of a functionally linked neuromuscular system extending from skeletal muscle to the spinal cord after peripheral nerve injury. Histological samples were taken from 3 to 150 d after crushing or transecting the sciatic nerve in adult chickens and mice. In unperturbed tissues, both N-CAM and Ng-CAM were found on nonmyelinated axons, and to a lesser extent on Schwann cells and myelinated axons. Only N-CAM was found on muscles. After denervation, the following changes were observed: The amount of N-CAM in muscle fibers increased transiently on the surface and in the cytoplasm, and in interstitial spaces between fibers. Restoration of normal N-CAM levels in muscle was dependent on reinnervation; in a chronically denervated state, N-CAM levels remained high. After crushing or cutting the nerve, the amount of both CAMs increased in the area surrounding the lesion, and the predominant form of N-CAM changed from a discrete Mr 140,000 component to the polydisperse high molecular weight embryonic form. Anti-N-CAM antibodies stained neurites, Schwann cells, and the perineurium of the regenerating sciatic nerve. Anti-Ng- CAM antibodies labeled neurites, Schwann cells and the endoneurial tubes in the distal stump. Changes in CAM distribution were observed in dorsal root ganglia and in the spinal cord only after the nerve was cut. The fibers within affected dorsal root ganglia were more intensely labeled for both CAMs, and the motor neurons in the ventral horn of the spinal cord of the affected segments were stained more intensely in a ring pattern by anti-N-CAM and anti-Ng-CAM than their counterparts on the side contralateral to the lesion. Taken together with the previous studies (Rieger, F., M. Grumet, and G. M. Edelman, J. Cell Biol. 101:285-293), these data suggest that local signals between neurons and glia may regulate CAM expression in the spinal cord and nerve during regeneration, and that activity may regulate N-CAM expression in muscle. Correlations of the present observations are made here with established events of nerve degeneration and suggest a number of roles for the CAMs in regenerative events.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
The sequence of changes occurring in transected rat sciatic nerve was examined by electron microscopy and by sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) polyacrylamide disc gel electrophoresis. Representative segments of transected nerves were processed for ultrastructural examinations between 0 and 34 days after the transection of sciatic nerves immediately below the sacro-sciatic notch. The remainder of the transected nerves and the intact portions of sciatic nerves were desheathed and immediately homogenized in 1 percent SDS containing 8 M urea and 50 mM dithioerythritol. Solubilized proteins were analyzed on 12 percent gels at pH 8.3 in a discontinuous electrophoretic system. Initial changes were limited to the axons of transected nerve fibers and were characterized by the loss of microtubules and neurofilaments and their replacement by an amorphous floccular material. These changes became widespread between 24 and 48 h after transection. The disruption of neurofilaments during this interval occurred in parallel with a selective loss of 69,000, 150,000 and 200,000 mol wt proteins from nerve homogenates, thus corroborating the view that these proteins represent component subunits of mammalian neurofilaments. Furthermore, the selective changes of neurofilament proteins in transected nerves indicate their inherent lability and suggest their susceptibility to calcium-mediated alterations. Electrophoretic profiles of nerve proteins during the 4-34-day interval after nerve transection reflected the breakdown and removal of myelin, the proliferation of Schwann cells and the deposition of endoneurial collagen. A marked increase of intermediate-sized filaments within proliferating Schwann cell processes was not accompanied by the appearance of neurofilamentlike proteins in gels of nerve homogenates.
Transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) into injured spinal cord results in improved functional outcome. Mechanisms suggested to account for this functional improvement include axonal regeneration, remyelination and neuroprotection. OECs transplanted into transected peripheral nerve have been shown to modify peripheral axonal regeneration and functional outcome. However, little is known of the detailed integration of OECs at the transplantation site in peripheral nerve. To address this issue cells populations enriched in OECs were isolated from the olfactory bulbs of adult green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing transgenic rats and transplanted into a sciatic nerve crush lesion which transects all axons. Five weeks to six months after transplantation the nerves were studied histologically. GFP-expressing OECs survived in the lesion and distributed longitudinally across the lesion zone. The internodal regions of individual teased fibers distal to the transection site were characterized by GFP expression in the cytoplasmic and nuclear compartments of cells surrounding the axons. Immuno-electron microscopy for GFP indicated that the transplanted OECs formed peripheral type myelin. Immunostaining for sodium channel and Caspr revealed a high density of Nav1.6 at the newly formed nodes of Ranvier which were flanked by paranodal Caspr staining. These results indicate that transplanted OECs extensively integrate into transected peripheral nerve and form myelin on regenerated peripheral nerve fibers, and that nodes of Ranvier of these axons display proper sodium channel organization.
Regeneration; olfactory ensheathing cells; peripheral nervous system; transplantation; nodal formation
Several factors have been proposed to account for poor motor recovery after prolonged denervation, including motor neuron cell death and incomplete or poor regeneration of motor fibers into the muscle. Both may result from failure of the muscle and the distal motor nerve stump to continue expression of neurotrophic factors following delayed muscle reinnervation. This study investigated whether regenerating motor or sensory axons modulate distal nerve neurotrophic factor expression. We found that transected distal tibial nerve up-regulated brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) mRNA, down-regulated neuro-trophin-3 and ciliary neurotrophic factor mRNA, and that although these levels returned to normal with regeneration, the chronically denervated distal nerve stump continued to express these neurotrophic factors for at least 6 months following injury. A sensory nerve (the cutaneous saphenous nerve) sutured to distal tibial nerve lowered injury-induced BDNF and GDNF mRNA levels in distal stump, but repair with a mixed nerve (peroneal, containing muscle and cutaneous axons) was more effective. Repair with sensory or mixed nerves did not affect nerve growth factor or neurotrophin-3 expression. Thus, distal nerve contributed to a neurotrophic environment for nerve regeneration for at least 6 months, and sensory nerve repair helped normalize distal nerve neurotrophic factor mRNA expression following denervation. Furthermore, as BDNF and GDNF levels in distal stump increased following denervation and returned to control levels following reinnervation, their levels serve as markers for the status of regeneration by either motor or sensory nerve.
PMID: 18194437 CAMSID: cams2286
mRNA; nerve injury; neurotrophins; rat; sciatic nerve
Many studies have demonstrated a compensatory amplification phenomenon during nerve regeneration. When a relatively fine nerve is used as a donor to connect to a distal nerve after transection, the donor nerve regenerates more collaterals than its own fibers, which extend to the distal stump, grow into distal endoneurial tubes, and finally reach and dominate the target organs. This is known as the amplification phenomenon. In this study, we investigated the amplification phenomenon in rats treated with Modified Formula Radix Hedysari (MFRH) as adjuvant therapy for 12 weeks. The rats were divided into three groups at random (six animals in each group). In the model group and the treatment group, the proximal common peroneal nerve was used as a donor nerve to connect to the distal tibial nerve. Rats in the normal group did not undergo surgery. After surgery, the treatment group was administered MFRH as systemic therapy, while the model group and the normal group were not given treatment. The results demonstrated that the nerve conduction velocity, the fiber diameter, the axon diameter, the number of regenerating nerve fibers, and the amplification ratio were better in the treatment group than in the model group, suggesting that MFRH promoted the nerve amplification effect.
Accuracy of motor axon regeneration becomes an important issue in the development of a nerve tube for motor nerve repair. Dispersion of regeneration across the nerve tube may lead to misdirection and polyinnervation. In this study, we present a series of methods to investigate the accuracy of regeneration, which we used to compare regeneration across autografts and single lumen poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nerve tubes. We also present the concept of the multichannel nerve tube that may limit dispersion by separately guiding groups of regenerating axons.
Simultaneous tracing of the tibial and peroneal nerves with fast blue (FB) and diamidino yellow (DY), 8 weeks after repair of a 1-cm nerve gap in the rat sciatic nerve, was performed to determine the percentage of double-projecting motoneurons. Sequential tracing of the peroneal nerve with DY 1 week before and FB 8 weeks after repair was performed to determine the percentage of correctly directed peroneal motoneurons.
In the cases in which there was successful regeneration across single lumen nerve tubes, more motoneurons had double projections to both the tibial and peroneal nerve branches after single lumen nerve tube repair (21.4%) than after autograft repair (5.9%). After multichannel nerve tube repair, this percentage was slightly reduced (16.9%), although not significantly. The direction of regeneration was nonspecific after all types of repair.
Retrograde tracing techniques provide new insights into the process of regeneration across nerve tubes. The methods and data presented in this study can be used as a basis in the development of a nerve tube for motor nerve repair.
misdirection; axon targeting; double labeling; peripheral nerve regeneration; rat sciatic nerve model; retrograde tracing