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Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2009;27(4):297-305. doi: 10.3233/RNN-2009-0479.

Chondroitinase ABC and acute electrical stimulation are beneficial for muscle reinnervation after sciatic nerve transection in rats.

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Centre de recherche, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, Département de chirurgie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada.



Nerve regeneration and functional recovery are often incomplete after peripheral nerve damage. The aim of this study was to determine if chondroitinase ABC injection at the lesion site, 1 hour of electrical stimulation and the combination of these treatments at the time of repair could be effective in promoting muscle reinnervation.


The right sciatic nerve was completely sectioned in 32 female Sprague-Dawley rats. End-to-end microsuture repair was undertaken and fibrin glue was added. Five groups were studied: 1) suture (S) + fibrin glue (F) only; 2) S + F + chondroitinase ABC; 3) S + F + electrical stimulation; 4) S + F + chondroitinase ABC + electrical stimulation; 5) uninjured nerve.


Post recovery kinematics showed larger excursion of the hip-ankle-toe angle during walking in groups 2, 3 and 4 than in group 1 (p < 0.05). In vivo electromyographic activity and maximal muscle force were similar between groups 2, 3, 4 and 5, with higher values in all of them compared to group 1 (p < 0.05). Also, the distal stump of the sciatic nerve was excised, and cross-sectioning revealed that the number of axons were similar in all groups.


150 days after nerve transection, recovery was incomplete with S and F only. Chondroitinase ABC injection at the lesion site and/or 1 hour of electrical stimulation of the proximal nerve stump were beneficial in promoting nerve regeneration and functional muscle reinnervation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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