Improvement of regeneration with predegenerated nerve transplants in silicone chambers

Francisco J. Rodríguez, Nuria Gómez, Rafael O. Labrador, Miquel Butí, Dolores Ceballos, Jordi Cuadras, Enrique Verdú, Xavier Navarro

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19 Citations (Scopus)


We compared regeneration and reinnervation of target organs after sciatic nerve resection and repair with silicone tubes filled with saline solution or with a peroneal nerve segment as a nerve transplant versus an autologous sciatic nerve graft leaving either 4 mm or 6 mm gaps. The aims of this study were to evaluate the effects of predegeneration and donor immunogenicity of nerve transplants. Functional reinnervation was assessed by noninvasive methods to determine recovery of sweating, sensory and motor functions in the hindpaw after three months postoperation for 4 mm and four months postoperation for 6 mm gap groups. Morphometrical analysis of the regenerated nerve were performed at the end of the follow-up. The group with an autograft achieved faster and higher levels of reinnervation for the four functions tested than any of the groups repaired by tubulization. The introduction of a small nerve transplant improved regeneration and reinnervation with respect to a saline solution filled tube slightly with a 4 mm gap, but significantly with a 6 mm long gap. The beneficial effects of the nerve transplant were significantly increased when it was predegenerated, while disappearing when its cellular component was eliminated by repeated freezing. The immunogenicity of the nerve transplant dramatically affected nerve regeneration, as it was impeded by an heterologous transplant in the tube. In summary, the use of silicone chambers with an autologous predegenerated nerve transplant may be an alternative for repairing long gaps in injured nerves, approaching the level of success of an ideal autologous nerve graft.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-79
JournalRestorative Neurology and Neuroscience
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999


  • Degeneration
  • Nerve regeneration
  • Nerve transplant
  • Reinnervation
  • Sciatic nerve
  • Tube repair


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