Can sensory and motor collateral sprouting be induced from intact peripheral nerve by end-to-side anastomosis?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The possibility that collateral sprouting could occur from intact axons in an undamaged sciatic nerve was studied in the rat by suturing either a 7-day predegenerated or a fresh nerve segment in an end-to-side fashion to the sciatic nerve proper. Following a 14- or 35-day recovery period, the pinch reflex test was performed on the transplanted segment to demonstrate the presence of sensory axons. The majority of cases, using a predegenerated nerve segment but not a fresh segment, responded positively. Neurofilament staining and histological examination confirmed the presence of axons in the attached nerve segment. In another series of experiments, the proximal peroneal fascicle was ligated and cut. Following a 7-day predegeneration period the distal stump was sutured end-to-side to the ipsilateral tibial fascicle. After 90 days, stimulation of the tibial nerve proximal to the attached site induced substantial contraction in both the native gastrocnemius muscle and the foreign tibialis anterior muscle. These findings suggest that collateral sprouting may occur from intact axons, perhaps induced by factors emanating from the attached nerve segment, and subsequently make functional peripheral connections.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurology


  • Anastomosis, Surgical, Animals, Axons, Female, Isometric Contraction, Motor Neurons, Muscle Contraction, Muscles, Nerve Degeneration, Nerve Regeneration, Neurofilament Proteins, Neurons, Afferent, Peroneal Nerve, Rats, Rats, Wistar, Sciatic Nerve, Tibial Nerve, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-82
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery: European Volume
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1994 Jun
Publication categoryResearch