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J Hand Surg Am. 2010 Dec;35(12):2008-17. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2010.08.016. Epub 2010 Oct 30.

Controlled delivery of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor enhances motor nerve regeneration.

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  • 1Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To determine the effect of a motor-specific neurotrophic factor, glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) on motor nerve regeneration.

METHODS:

We used a nerve conduit filled with a fibrin-based delivery system that provided controlled release of GDNF during nerve regeneration. The motor branch of the rat femoral nerve was used to assess motor nerve regeneration across a 5-mm gap. Four experimental groups (n = 4 to n = 8) were evaluated. These included GDNF with the fibrin-based delivery system (GDNF-DS), fibrin alone, empty conduit (negative control), and nerve isograft (positive control). Nerves were harvested at 5 weeks for analysis by histomorphometry and electron microscopy.

RESULTS:

At 5 mm distal to the conduit or isografts, the GDNF-DS group was not significantly different from the nerve isograft group in the following histomorphometric measures: total nerve fibers, percentage of neural tissue, and nerve density. Both the GDNF-DS and isograft groups had significantly more fibers and a higher percentage of neural tissue than fibrin alone and empty conduit groups. There were no differences in fiber width among all groups. By electron microscopy, the GDNF-DS and isograft groups also demonstrated more organized nerve architecture than the fibrin alone and empty conduit groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

The delivery of GDNF from the fibrin-based delivery system promotes motor nerve regeneration at a level similar to an isograft in the femoral motor nerve model. This study gives insight into the potential beneficial role of GDNF in the treatment of motor nerve injuries.

PMID:
21035963
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhsa.2010.08.016
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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