Peripheral axotomy-induced changes of motor function and histological structure of spinal anterior horn

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Amir Raoofi
Mohammad Amin Abdollahifar
Abbas Aliaghaei
Abbas Piryaei
Fatemeh Hejazi
Ensieh Sajadi
Ali Rashidiani-Rashidabadi
Yousef Sadeghi *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Yousef Sadeghi |


The aim of this study was to evaluate changes of both peripheral motor function and histology of spinal anterior horn in adult rats after unilateral sciatectomy. Ten adult healthy rats served as control group, while in the ten rat experimental group the right sciatic nerve was severed. We followed-up nerve motor function using a sciatic function index and electromyography activity of the gastrocnemious muscle. The rats of the experimental group presented the expected gross locomotor deficit and leg muscle atrophy. At 12 weeks post sciatectomy, L4 and L5 spinal cord segments were removed from the twenty rats and were analysed by istological stereological methods. In the axotomized animals volume of the anterior horn and its content of motor neurons decreased, while the content of astrocytes increased (p < 0.05). Thus, in adult rats, beside the obvious peripheral nerve disfuction, the sciatic nerve axotomy have severe consequences on the soma of the injured motor neurons in the spinal anterior horn. All these quantitative analyses may be usefull to quantify changes occurring in adult animals after axotomy and eventual management to modify the final outcomes in peripheral nerve disorders.

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