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Published Online: 2 April 2007

Thyroid Hormone in Biodegradable Nerve Guides Stimulates Sciatic Nerve Regeneration: A Potential Therapeutic Approach for Human Peripheral Nerve Injuries

Publication: Journal of Neurotrauma
Volume 24, Issue Number 3

Abstract

It has been already demonstrated that thyroid hormone (T3) is one of the most important stimulating factors in peripheral nerve regeneration. We have recently shown that local administration of T3 in silicon tubes at the level of the transected rat sciatic nerve enhanced axonal regeneration and improved functional recovery. Silicon, however, cannot be used in humans because it causes a chronic inflammatory reaction. Therefore, in order to provide future clinical applications of thyroid hormone in human peripheral nerve lesions, we carried out comparative studies on the regeneration of transected rat sciatic nerve bridged either by biodegradable P(DLLA-(-CL) or by silicon nerve guides, both guides filled with either T3 or phosphate buffer. Our macroscopic observation revealed that 85% of the biodegradable guides allowed the expected regeneration of the transected sciatic nerve. The morphological, morphometric and electrophysiological analysis showed that T3 in biodegradable guides induces a significant increase in the number of myelinated regenerated axons (6862 ± 1831 in control vs. 11799 ± 1163 in T3-treated). Also, T3 skewed the diameter of myelinated axons toward larger values than in controls. Moreover, T3 increases the compound muscle action potential amplitude of the flexor and extensor muscles of the treated rats. This T3 stimulation in biodegradable guides was equally well to that obtained by using silicone guides. In conclusion, the administration of T3 in biodegradable guides significantly improves sciatic nerve regeneration, confirming the feasibility of our technique to provide a serious step towards future clinical application of T3 in human peripheral nerve injuries.

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Published In

cover image Journal of Neurotrauma
Journal of Neurotrauma
Volume 24Issue Number 3March 2007
Pages: 567 - 577
PubMed: 17402861

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Published online: 2 April 2007
Published in print: March 2007

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    Ibtissam Barakat-Walter
    Department of Cell Biology and Morphology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Laboratory of Neurology Research, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Rudolf Kraftsik
    Department of Cell Biology and Morphology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Michel Schenker
    Laboratory of Neurology Research, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Thierry Kuntzer
    Laboratory of Neurology Research, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.

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