Experimental Peripheral Nerve Repair with Nerve Growth Factor and Fibrin Sealant Matrix: Functional and Morphological Evaluation
In this study, a fibrin sealant (FS) matrix, with or without nerve growth factor (NGF), has been used to improve the recovery of severed peripheral nerves. A total of 30 male Sprague Dawley rats, weighing 250–270 g each, were used. Sciatic nerves were transected at the level of the great trochanter and then connected with two standard epineurial sutures. FS with NGF (2 µg/ml) was placed in between the nerve anastomosis and the surrounding area (group NGF-FS). The second group was treated with FS only (group FS). The control group had only sutures (group SUT) (n = 10/group). Functional recovery process (up to 12 weeks) was evaluated by serial walking-track analysis and calculation of the rate of muscle atrophy (RMA). Morphological evaluation was analyzed by immunohistochemical staining with an antibody to neurofilament (APAAP method). The behavioral data, expressed by the sciatic function index (SFI) and the toe spreading index (TSI), indicated significant improvement in the group NGF-FS at the ninth week postoperatively (p < 0.05). The RMA was significantly lower (p< 0.05) in the group NGF-FS at the 12th week. Histologically, a better regeneration (p <0.05) of neurites was found in group FS. We concluded that local application of a combination of FS and exogenous NGF may be useful for neuritic regeneration and subsequent functional recovery.
KeywordsNerve Growth Factor Sciatic Nerve Tibialis Anterior Fibrin Sealant Sciatic Nerve Transection
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