Reinnervation of muscular targets by nerve regeneration through guidance conduits

Hou-Yu Chiang, Hsiung-Fei Chien, Hsin-Hsin Shen, Jean-Dean Yang, Yu-Hua Chen, Jui-Hsiang Chen, Sung-Tsang Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


We established histopathologic and neurophysiologic approaches to examine whether different designs of polycaprolactone-engineered nerve conduits (hollow vs. laminated) could promote nerve regeneration as autologous grafts after transection of sciatic nerves. The assessments included morphometric analysis at the level of sciatic nerve, neuromuscular junction (NMJ) and gastrocnemius muscle, and nerve conduction studies on sciatic nerves. Six months after nerve grafting, the nerve fiber density in the hollow-conduit group was similar to that in the autologous-graft group; the laminated-conduit group only achieved ∼20% of these values. The consequences of these differences were reflected in nerve growth into muscular targets; this was demonstrated by combined cholinesterase histochemistry for NMJ and immunohistochemistry for nerve fibers innervating NMJ with an axonal marker, protein gene product 9.5. Hollow conduits had similar index of NMJ innervation as autologous grafts; the values were higher than those of laminated conduits. Among the 3 groups there were same patterns of differences in the cross-sectional area of muscle fibers and amplitudes of compound muscle action potential. These results indicate that hollow conduits were as efficient as autologous grafts to facilitate nerve regeneration, and provide a multidisciplinary approach to quantitatively evaluate muscular reinnervation after nerve injury. Copyright © 2005 by the American Association of Neuropathologists, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-587
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Innervation
  • Nerve conduits
  • Nerve graft
  • Nerve regeneration
  • Neuromuscular junctions
  • Polycaprolactone
  • Ubiquitin
  • cholinesterase
  • gene product
  • polycaprolactone
  • protein gene product 9.5
  • unclassified drug
  • animal experiment
  • animal model
  • animal tissue
  • article
  • autograft
  • controlled study
  • gastrocnemius muscle
  • histochemistry
  • histopathology
  • immunohistochemistry
  • male
  • morphometrics
  • muscle action potential
  • muscle cell
  • muscle reinnervation
  • nerve conduction
  • nerve fiber
  • nerve graft
  • nerve growth
  • nerve injury
  • nerve regeneration
  • nerve transection
  • neuromuscular synapse
  • nonhuman
  • priority journal
  • quantitative analysis
  • rat
  • sciatic nerve
  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Cholinesterases
  • Electrophysiology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Nerve Regeneration
  • Neuromuscular Junction
  • Polyesters
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sciatic Nerve
  • Transplantation, Homologous


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