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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:954798. doi: 10.1155/2013/954798. Epub 2013 Sep 17.

Epimedium extract promotes peripheral nerve regeneration in rats.

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Department of Orthopedics, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100730, China.


Effects of Epimedium extract and its constituent icariin on peripheral nerve repair were investigated in a crush injury rat model. Animals were divided into four groups: sham, control, Epimedium extract, and icariin groups. At postoperative weeks 1, 2, 4, and 8, nerve regeneration and functional recovery were evaluated by sciatic functional index (SFI), nerve electrophysiology, nerve pinch test, and muscle wet weight. Results showed that at 2 and 4 weeks after surgery rats in the Epimedium group displayed a better recovery of nerve function than that in the icariin and control groups, with better recovery in the icariin group than in the control group. The nerve pinch test showed that nerve regeneration was greater in the Epimedium group and the icariin group as compared to the control group. In addition, the muscle wet weight in the Epimedium group was significantly improved when compared with the icariin group, and the improvement in the icariin group was better than that in the control group at 8 weeks after operation. Our findings suggest that Epimedium extract effectively promotes peripheral nerve regeneration and improves the function of damaged nerves.

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