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J Neurosci Methods. 2013 Jul 15;217(1-2):54-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2013.04.013. Epub 2013 Apr 26.

The effect of calcium modulating agents on peripheral nerve recovery after crush.

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Department of Plastic Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.


After a nerve injury, calcium concentration in the intra-nerve fiber drastically increases. The purpose of our study was to test an implantable micro-osmotic pump to deliver medications to accelerate calcium absorption, thereby greatly improving nerve regeneration. Twenty-four SD rats were divided into four groups of six each: (1) Sham control: crush injury to sciatic nerve only; (2) Crush injury with a Nifedipine pump; (3) Crush injury with a Calcitonin pump; (4) Crush injury with a Saline pump. Each rat's right sciatic nerve was crushed. The micro-osmotic pump was implanted in the neck, and the dripping tube was routed to the injured nerve. After four weeks of survival time, compound muscle action potential (CMAP), tetanic muscle force (TMF), myelinated nerve fiber area (NFA), nerve calcium concentration (NCC), and calcified spots (CS) were evaluated. The calcium absorption rate (CAR) was also determined. The order from highest to lowest recovery rate was Nifedipine>Calcitonin>Sham control>Saline. Differences among the groups were statistically significant (P<0.001, ANOVA test), and the difference between Nifedipine/Calcitonin and Saline/Sham control were all statistically significant (P<0.001, t-test). The correlation rate of NCC with CMAP/TMF and with NFA/CS and CAR were calculated to be 0.99 (all P<0.001, Pearson's Correlation). We conclude from this study that nerve regeneration strongly correlated with calcium absorption; our new data has shown greatly improved nerve functional recovery, and this can potentially be translated into clinical applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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