Effects of Valproic Acid on Axonal Regeneration and Recovery of Motor Function after Peripheral Nerve Injury in the Rat

Valproic acid (VPA) is used to be an effective anti-epileptic drug and mood stabilizer. It has recently been demonstrated that VPA could promote neurite outgrowth, activate the extracellular signal regulated kinase pathway, and increases bcl-2 and growth cone-associated protein 43 levels in spinal cord. In the present research we demonstrate the effect of VPA on peripheral nerve regeneration and recovery of motor function following sciatic nerve transaction in rats.
The rats in VPA group and control group were administered with valproic acid (30 mg/kg) and sodium chloride respectively after operation. Each animal was observed sciatic nerve index (SFI) at 2-week intervals and studied electrophysiology at 4-week intervals for 12 weeks. Histological and morphometrical analyses were performed 12 weeks after operation. Using the digital image-analysis system, thickness of the myelin sheath was measured, and total numbers of regenerated axons were counted.
There was a significant difference in SFI, electrophysiological index (motor-nerve conduct velocity), and morphometrical results (regenerated axon number and thickness of myelin sheath) in nerve regeneration between the VPA group and controls (P<0.05).
The results demonstrated that VPA is able to enhance sciatic nerve regeneration in rats, suggesting the potential clinical application of VPA for the treatment of peripheral nerve injury in humans.
Archives of Bone and Joint Surgery, Volume:2 Issue: 1, Jan 2014
17 to 24
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