The pseudo-nerve, which contains longitudinal Schwann cell columns without axons and surrounded by perineurium-like tissue but no axons (Q. Zhao, L.B. Dahlin, M. Kanje, G. Lundborg, Brain Res. 592 (1992) 106-114), was applied as a graft to repair nerve defect in rats. Creation of the pseudo-nerve was accomplished by inserting the proximal and distal stumps of a cut sciatic nerve into a silicone tube. The proximal insert was cut far proximally to prevent axons from entering the tube. After 4 weeks, the pseudo-nerve was harvested, trimmed into a 10-mm long graft and transplanted into a corresponding defect of the contralateral sciatic nerve. Nerve regeneration through the pseudo-nerve was examined by pinch reflex test and neurofilament staining after 6 days or by morphology after 4, 6 or 8 weeks. The results showed that the pseudo-nerve could induce nerve regeneration to a similar extend as a real nerve graft. The neurobiological composition of the pseudo-nerve and the factors influencing its formation were also studied. By double staining of S-100 and laminin we found that the longitudinally organized Schwann cell columns in the pseudo-nerve were surrounded by basal laminae and ensheathed by a layer of vascularized perineurium-like tissue. Macrophages (ED1 and ED2) and their products interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) were constantly present in the pseudo-nerve. Besides, the size of tube was a crucial factor in influencing pseudo-nerve formation, e.g. a thicker pseudo-nerve was formed in tubes with larger diameters or shorter gap lengths. No pseudo-nerve was formed when the gap was 15 mm long. When both proximal and distal inserts were isolated nerve segments the pseudo-nerve was still formed but thin, probably because of compromised vascular supply. Taken together, the results suggested that the pseudo-nerve contains the essential neurobiological elements to induce successful axonal elongation.
Bibliographical noteThe information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Hand Surgery Research Group (013241910), Bioimplant Research (013242910), Neural Interfaces (013212003)
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Nerve regeneration
- Peripheral nerve
- Nerve graft
- Schwann cell