Peripheral nerve injury is one of the most common damages that lead to physical disability. Considering the similarity between the coatings of skeletal muscles and nerve fibers, we conducted this research to determine the effect of muscle graft with Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Laminin (L) on nerve repair.
We cut a 10-mm length of the sciatic nerve from 42 female Wistar rats (Weight: 200±250 g) and equally divided the rats into three groups. In the muscle graft+NGF+laminin group, the degenerated skeletal muscle was sutured with proximal and distal ends of the transected sciatic nerve. Then, NGF (100 ng) and laminin (1.28 mg/mL) were injected into the muscle graft. In the muscle graft group, normal saline was injected into the muscle graft. In the control group, 10 mm of the sciatic nerve was removed without any treatment. Functional recovery was assessed based on Sciatic Functional Index (SFI). Also, tracing motor neurons and histological studies were performed to evaluate nerve repair. The obtained data were analyzed by ANOVA test.
The Mean±SD SFI value significantly increased in the muscle graft+NGF+laminin (-76.6±2.9) and muscle graft (-82.1±3.5) groups 60 days after the injury compared to the control group. The Mean±SD number of labeled motor neurons significantly increased in the muscle graft+NGF+laminin (78.6±3.1) and muscle graft (61.3±6.1) groups compared to the control group (P<0.001). The mean number of myelinated axons in the distal segments of the muscle graft+NGF+laminin increased significantly compared to the muscle graft group.
These findings suggest that muscle graft followed by NGF and laminin administration have therapeutic effects on nerve repair.