The microenvironment of injured and regenerating peripheral nerves
Muscle and Nerve Suppl (9): S33-S38
Local events in the milieu of injured peripheral nerve trunks may have an important influence on the likelihood of regenerative success or the development of neuropathic pain. Injury-related changes in the microcirculation of this milieu have provided some evidence that axonal endbulbs, structures that form at the proximal end of transected axons, dump peptides and other molecules into the injury milieu where they may exert local actions, including those on microvessels. During a later phase of nerve repair, macrophage influx and pancellular proliferative events appear to develop in a coordinated fashion. Nitric oxide is probably an important and prominent player in the injured nerve trunk, both at early and later stages of the repair process. A better understanding of the injured peripheral nerve microenvironment may allow therapeutic approaches that can enhance regeneration and diminish pain.