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J Exerc Rehabil. 2018 Aug 24;14(4):566-572. doi: 10.12965/jer.1836340.170. eCollection 2018 Aug.

Diosgenin improves functional recovery from sciatic crushed nerve injury in rats.

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Department of Physical Therapy, Daewon University College, Jecheon, Korea.
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.
School of Global Sport Studies, Korea University, Sejong, Korea.
Department of Urology, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Peripheral nerve injuries are commonly encountered clinical problem and often result in chronic pain and severe functional deficit. Diosgenin is a plant steroidal saponin and has anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. In the present study, we investigated the effect of diosgenin on functional recovery following sciatic crushed nerve injury in rats. Walking track analysis for the functional recovery which can be quantified with the sciatic function index (SFI) was conducted. Immunohistochemistry for c-Fos in the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG) and paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and western blot for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), tyrosine kinase B (TrkB), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and inducible nitric oxide synthesis (iNOS) in the sciatic nerve were performed. The right sciatic nerve was crushed for 30 sec using a surgical clip. The animals in the diosgenin-treated groups received orally once a day at the respective doses for 7 consecutive days, starting one day after surgery. Sciatic crushed nerve injury showed characteristic gait changes showing decrease of SFI value. Diosgenin treatment increased the SFI value and suppressed nerve injury-induced c-Fos expression in the vlPAG and PVN. Diosgenin treatment inhibited nerve injury-induced increase of BDNF, TrkB, COX-2, and iNOS expressions. It is possible that diosgenin can be used as the new therapeutic agent for pain control and functional recovery following peripheral nerve injury.


Brained-derived neurotrophic factor; Diosgenin; Functional recovery; Sciatic nerve injury; c-Fos

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

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