We evaluated the effects of FK506, at doses of 0.2, 2, and 5 mg/kg/day, on the response to nerve grafts implanted in outbred mice. A 6mm long segment of the sciatic nerve was transected and repaired by autograft (the same segment resected), allograft (from another mouse), or xenograft (from a rat nerve). The regenerating nerves were harvested after 3 weeks and studied under light and electron microscope. Allografts of animals treated with the 5 mg/kg/day dose of FK506 appeared similar to those from autografts, demonstrating an equivalent number of myelinated fibers. In mice treated with the 2 mg/kg/day dose, regeneration was slightly hindered, as indicated by the reduced number of myelinated fibers. In contrast, in mice given a 0.2 mg/kg/day dose of FK506, allografts were not different from untreated allografts; both groups showed a marked rejection response with only few unmyelinated axons and no myelinated fibers. Xenografts showed a more severe rejection than allografts, with a marked inflammatory cell reaction throughout the graft. In contrast, in mice treated with the 5 mg/kg/day dose, xenografts exhibited a mild cell reaction and a greater number of regenerated myelinated fibers. In conclusion, effective axonal regeneration is achieved with FK506 administration at doses of 5 mg/kg/day through allografts and, partially, through xenografts.
- Nerve regeneration
- Sciatic nerve