Nerve regeneration in a 'pseudo-nerve' graft created in a silicone tube

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-134
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Bibliographical note

The 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)

  • Neurosciences

Free keywords

  • Nerve regeneration
  • Peripheral nerve
  • Nerve graft
  • Schwann cell
  • Silicone
  • Implant
  • Matrix
  • Immunohistochemistry


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