Peripheral nerve repair with sufficient functional recovery is an important issue in reconstructive surgery. Stem cells have attracted extensive research interest in recent years.
The purpose of this study was to compare the vein conduit technique, with and without the addition of mesenchymal stem cells in gap-less nerve injury repair in rats.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
In this study, 36 Wistar rats were randomly allocated to three groups: In the first group, nerve repair was performed with simple neurorrhaphy (control group), in the second group, nerve repair was done with vein conduit over site (vein conduit group) and in the third group, bone marrow stem cells were instilled into the vein conduit (stem cell group) after nerve repair with vein conduit over site. Six weeks after the intervention, the sciatic function index, electrophysiological study and histological examination were performed.
All animals tolerated the surgical procedures and survived well. The sciatic function index and latency were significantly improved in the vein conduit (P = 0.04 and 0.03, respectively) and stem cell group (P = 0.02 and 0.03, respectively) compared with the control group. No significant difference was observed in sciatic function and latency between the vein conduit and stem-cell groups. Moreover, histological analysis showed no significant difference in regenerative density between these two groups.
The results of this study showed that the meticulous microsurgical nerve repair, which was performed using the vein tubulization induced significantly better sciatic nerve regeneration. However, the addition of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell to vein conduit failed to promote any significant changes in regeneration outcome.