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Reinnervation of denervated skeletal muscles by grafted dorsal root ganglion



Reinnervation of denervated skeletal muscles by grafted dorsal root ganglion



Experimental Neurology 118(3): 291-301



We examined whether or not the cervical dorsal root ganglion (DRG) of the rat, when isografted and connected to the distal stump of the severed common peroneal nerve, could survive, project axons to the denervated leg muscles, and exert beneficial influences to delay the degeneration of the denervated muscles. Rats in which the muscles were similarly denervated but no DRG was grafted served as the control. After a postoperative period of 72 to 288 days, histological study showed that nerve cells at the superficial part of the grafted DRG survived. Indirect electrical stimulation via the distal stump of the common peroneal nerve produced no contraction of the muscles, indicating that no functional neuromuscular contacts had been reestablished. Direct stimulation of the denervated muscles did elicit contraction, and the isometric twitch and tetanic tensions were significantly much higher in the experimental rats with a grafted DRG than in the control rats. Cholinesterase-silver staining indicated the presence of axons in the denervated muscles, but the axons did not terminate on endplates. Compared with the control muscles, the experimental muscles had significantly more axons, and had atrophied less as indicate by muscle wet weight and histological appearance. These results indicate that the sensory axons can delay the weakening and atrophy of muscles after denervation. We suggest that the sensory axons may exert certain trophic influence on the denervated muscle fibers, though the actual mechanism is unknown.

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Accession: 009325883

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 1306487

DOI: 10.1016/0014-4886(92)90186-t


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