Peripheral and Spinal Motor Reorganization after Nerve Injury and Repair

Antoni Valero-Cabré, Konstantin Tsironis, Emmanouil Skouras, Xavier Navarro, Wolfram F. Neiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

92 Citations (Scopus)


Functional recovery after peripheral nerve injury depends on the amount as well as on the accuracy of reinnervation by regenerative axons. In this study, the rat sciatic nerve was subjected to crush injury or complete transection repaired by either (1) straight nerve suture, (2) crossed nerve suture of tibial and peroneal fascicles, or (3) silicone tubulization leaving a gap of 4 mm. The compound muscle action potentials (CMAP) of gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior and plantar muscles were recorded 90 days post operation to assess functional reinnervation and Fast Blue, Fluoro Gold and DiI were applied to the nerve branches projecting into these muscles to quantify morphological reinnervation. The CMAP amplitude achieved in gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior and plantar muscles was higher after nerve crush (86%, 82%, 65% of control) than after any surgical nerve repair (straight suture: 49%, 53%, 32%; crossed suture: 56%, 50%, 31%; silicone tube: 42%, 44%, 25%). The total number of labeled motoneurons, however, did not significantly differ between groups (control: 1238 ± 82, crush: 1048 ± 49, straight suture: 1175 ± 106, crossed suture: 1085 ± 84, silicone tube: 1250 ± 182). The volume occupied by labeled motoneurons within the spinal cord was larger after surgical nerve repair than in crush or normal control animals, and fewer neurons showed abnormal multiple projections after crush (2.5%) or straight suture (2.2%) than following crossed suture (5%) or silicone tube (6%). In conclusion, nerve repair with a silicone tube leaving a short gap does not increase accuracy of reinnervation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-108
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • Electromyography
  • Misdirected reinnervation
  • Regeneration
  • Retrograde tracers
  • Sciatic nerve
  • Spinal cord reorganization
  • Tubulization


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