Passive and active exercise improve regeneration and muscle reinnervation after peripheral nerve injury in the rat

Esther Udina, Antoni Puigdemasa, Xavier Navarro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Lesions of peripheral nerves cause loss of motor and sensory function and also lead to hyperreflexia and hyperalgesia. Activity-dependent therapies promote axonal regeneration and functional recovery and may improve sensory-motor coordination and restoration of adequate circuitry at the spinal level. Methods: We compared the effects of passive (bicycle) and active (treadmill) exercise on nerve regeneration and modulation of the spinal H reflex after transection and repair of the rat sciatic nerve. Animals were evaluated during 2 months using electrophysiological, functional, and histological methods. Results: Moderate exercise for 1 hour/day, either active treadmill walking or passive cycling, improved muscle reinnervation, increased the number of regenerated axons in the distal nerve, and reduced the increased excitability of spinal reflexes after nerve lesion. Discussion: Maintenance of denervated muscle activity and afferent input, by active or passive exercise, may increase trophic factor release to act on regenerating axons and to modulate central neuronal plasticity. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-509
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Volume43
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • Exercise
  • Nerve regeneration
  • Reinnervation
  • Spinal reflexes
  • Treadmill

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