Author(s): Donzelli R, Maiuri F, Piscopo GA, de Notaris M, Colella A,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to evaluate the role of extracellular matrix components in nerve regeneration. Matrigel, a complex of extracellular matrix components such as laminin (the most abundant) heparan sulphate proteoglycans (HSPG), type IV collagen and fibronectin, was used. METHODS: Forty male rabbits, which had undergone section of the right facial nerve, were later treated by reinnervation through an artificial graft of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE). In 20 animals the tubes of ePTFE were filled with Matrigel; in 20 control animals the tubes were filled with saline solution. RESULTS: The Matrigel group showed a better axonal organization and a significantly higher number of regenerated axons in the early phases (at days 15 and 30 respectively) than the control group, whereas the difference of the axons number at day 60 was less significant; besides, the axon diameter and the myelin thickness were not significantly improved by Matrigel. DISCUSSION: Our data suggest that Matrigel is an important factor in promoting and enhancing the early phases of the regeneration after nerve injuries. Tree neurite promoting agents, such as laminin, fibronectin and collagen, allow a more systematic and agonized regeneration. Extracellular matrix components may represent a direction guidance for axonal pathway.
This article was published in Neurol Res
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation