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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 1477-1485

A novel chronic nerve compression model in the rat


Department of Hand Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei Province, China

Correspondence Address:
Jiang-Hai Chen
Department of Hand Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei Province
China
Zhen-Bing Chen
Department of Hand Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei Province
China
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Source of Support: This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 81471270, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.235306

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Current animal models of chronic peripheral nerve compression are mainly silicone tube models. However, the cross section of the rat sciatic nerve is not a perfect circle, and there are differences in the diameter of the sciatic nerve due to individual differences. The use of a silicone tube with a uniform internal diameter may not provide a reliable and consistent model. We have established a chronic sciatic nerve compression model that can induce demyelination of the sciatic nerve and lead to atrophy of skeletal muscle. In 3-week-old pups and adult rats, the sciatic nerve of the right hind limb was exposed, and a piece of surgical latex glove was gently placed under the nerve. N-butyl-cyanoacrylate was then placed over the nerve, and after it had set, another piece of glove latex was placed on top of the target area and allowed to adhere to the first piece to form a sandwich-like complex. Thus, a chronic sciatic nerve compression model was produced. Control pups with latex or N-butyl-cyanoacrylate were also prepared. Functional changes to nerves were assessed using the hot plate test and electromyography. Immunofluorescence and electron microscopy analyses of the nerves were performed to quantify the degree of neuropathological change. Masson staining was conducted to assess the degree of fibrosis in the gastrocnemius and intrinsic paw muscles. The pup group rats subjected to nerve compression displayed thermal hypoesthesia and a gradual decrease in nerve conduction velocity at 2 weeks after surgery. Neuropathological studies demonstrated that the model caused nerve demyelination and axonal irregularities and triggered collagen deposition in the epineurium and perineurium of the affected nerve at 8 weeks after surgery. The degree of fibrosis in the gastrocnemius and intrinsic paw muscles was significantly increased at 20 weeks after surgery. In conclusion, our novel model can reproduce the functional and histological changes of chronic nerve compression injury that occurs in humans and it will be a useful new tool for investigating the mechanisms underlying chronic nerve compression.


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