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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 419-424

Changes in the blood-nerve barrier after sciatic nerve cold injury: indications supporting early treatment

1 Department of Neurology, the First People's Hospital of Yibin, Yibin, Sichuan Province, China
2 Department of Neurology, Xuanwu Hospital Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
3 Department of Pharmacy, the First People's Hospital of Yibin, Yibin, Sichuan Province, China

Correspondence Address:
Hao Li
Department of Neurology, the First People's Hospital of Yibin, Yibin, Sichuan Province
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.153690

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Severe edema in the endoneurium can occur after non-freezing cold injury to the peripheral nerve, which suggests damage to the blood-nerve barrier. To determine the effects of cold injury on the blood-nerve barrier, the sciatic nerve on one side of Wistar rats was treated with low temperatures (3-5°C) for 2 hours. The contralateral sciatic nerve was used as a control. We assessed changes in the nerves using Evans blue as a fluid tracer and morphological methods. Excess fluid was found in the endoneurium 1 day after cold injury, though the tight junctions between cells remained closed. From 3 to 5 days after the cold injury, the fluid was still present, but the tight junctions were open. Less tracer leakage was found from 3 to 5 days after the cold injury compared with 1 day after injury. The cold injury resulted in a breakdown of the blood-nerve barrier function, which caused endoneurial edema. However, during the early period, the breakdown of the blood-nerve barrier did not include the opening of tight junctions, but was due to other factors. Excessive fluid volume produced a large increase in the endoneurial fluid pressure, prevented liquid penetration into the endoneurium from the microvasculature. These results suggest that drug treatment to patients with cold injuries should be administered during the early period after injury because it may be more difficult for the drug to reach the injury site through the microcirculation after the tissue fluid pressure becomes elevated.

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