Author(s): Williams LR, Powell HC, Lundborg G, Varon S
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Abstract A new peripheral nerve forms across a 10 mm gap within a silicone chamber regeneration model when the distal segment of a transected sciatic nerve, connected to its end organs, is sutured into the distal end of the chamber. We have tested the ability of other tissue inserts to support axonal regeneration in the chamber. When an isolated 2 mm piece of sciatic nerve was sutured into the distal end, fibrin matrix formation, cell immigration and axonal regeneration were identical to those occurring in the control. When the distal nerve insert was replaced with a 2 mm piece of skin or a ligation, a matrix did not form and subsequent cell immigration and axonal regeneration did not occur. When a 2 mm piece of tendon was inserted, a matrix did form at 1 week, but a structure across the gap was observed at later time periods in only 2 out of 7 chambers. The matrix either dissolved before cells could enter the chamber or did not promote cellular immigration and subsequent axonal regeneration. When the distal end was left open, a matrix formed and cells from the reactive tissue outside the chamber entered the matrix and formed a granulation tissue bridge across the gap. This tissue failed to support axonal regeneration; at 3 weeks, axons stopped 1 mm beyond the proximal stump at the interface with the granulation tissue. Thus, matrix formation and a cellular bridge are necessary but not sufficient to ensure regeneration. Successful regeneration across the silicone chamber gap requires humoral and/or cellular contributions available from peripheral nervous tissue and not from the other tested tissues.
This article was published in Brain Res
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation