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Hyper Smash

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Regeneration: Sensory vs Motor nerves?

Comparison of the fastest regenerating motor and sensory myelinated axons in the same peripheral nerve
Mihai Moldovan1, Jesper Sørensen1,2 and Christian Krarup1,

Brain 2006 129(9):2471-2483; doi:10.1093/brain/awl184

Functional outcome after peripheral nerve regeneration is often poor, particularly involving nerve injuries far from their targets. Comparison of sensory and motor axon regeneration before target reinnervation is not possible in the clinical setting, and previous experimental studies addressing the question of differences in growth rates of different nerve fibre populations led to conflicting results. We developed an animal model to compare growth and maturation of the fastest growing sensory and motor fibres within the same mixed nerve after Wallerian degeneration. Regeneration of cat tibial nerve after crush (n = 13) and section (n = 7) was monitored for up to 140 days, using implanted cuff electrodes placed around the sciatic and tibial nerves and wire electrodes at plantar muscles. To distinguish between sensory and motor fibres, recordings were carried out from L6–S2 spinal roots using cuff electrodes. The timing of laminectomy was based on the presence of regenerating fibres along the nerve within the tibial cuff. Stimulation of unlesioned tibial nerves (n = 6) evoked the largest motor response in S1 ventral root and the largest sensory response in L7 dorsal root. Growth rates were compared by mapping the regenerating nerve fibres within the tibial nerve cuff to all ventral or dorsal roots and, regardless of the lesion type, the fastest growth was similar in sensory and motor fibres.

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