Publication details

Authors: Kokai, L. E.; Bourbeau, D.; Weber, D.; McAtee, J.; Marra, K. G. 
Title: Sustained growth factor delivery promotes axonal regeneration in long gap peripheral nerve repair 
Type: Journal Article 
Publisher: Tissue Eng Part A 
Year: 2011 
Volume: 17 
Issue: 9-10 
Start Page: 1263 
End Page: 1275 
DOI: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2010.0507 
Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term effect of localized growth factor delivery on sciatic nerve regeneration in a critical-size (> 1 cm) peripheral nerve defect. Previous work has demonstrated that bioactive proteins can be encapsulated within double-walled, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)/poly(lactide) microspheres and embedded within walls of biodegradable polymer nerve guides composed of poly(caprolactone). Within this study, nerve guides containing glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) were used to bridge a 1.5-cm defect in the male Lewis rat for a 16-week period. Nerve repair was evaluated through functional assessment of joint angle range of motion using video gait kinematics, gastrocnemius twitch force, and gastrocnemius wet weight. Histological evaluation of nerve repair included assessment of Schwann cell and neurofilament location with immunohistochemistry, evaluation of tissue integration and organization throughout the lumen of the regenerated nerve with Masson's trichrome stain, and quantification of axon fiber density and g-ratio. Results from this study showed that the measured gastrocnemius twitch force in animals treated with GDNF was significantly higher than negative controls and was not significantly different from the isograft-positive control group. Histological assessment of explanted conduits after 16 weeks showed improved tissue integration within GDNF releasing nerve guides compared to negative controls. Nerve fibers were present across the entire length of GDNF releasing guides, whereas nerve fibers were not detectable beyond the middle region of negative control guides. Therefore, our results support the use of GDNF for improved functional recovery above negative controls following large axonal defects in the peripheral nervous system. 
Keywords: Animals, Axons/*metabolism/pathology, Delayed-Action Preparations/pharmacology, Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor/*pharmacology, Guided Tissue Regeneration/*methods, Male, *Microspheres, Nerve Regeneration/*drug effects, *Peripheral Nerve Injuries, Peripheral Nerves/*metabolism/pathology, Rats, Rats, Inbred Lew, Time Factors