SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • histochemistry;
  • carbonic anhydrase;
  • cholinesterase;
  • axon;
  • axotomy

Abstract

Histochemical staining for carbonic anhydrase and cholinesterase (CE) activities was used to analyze sensory and motor axon regeneration, respectively, during neuroma formation in transected and tube-encapsulated peripheral nerves. Median–ulnar and sciatic nerves in the rodent model permitted testing whether a 4 cm greater distance of the motor neuron soma from axotomy site or intrinsic differences between motor and sensory neurons influenced regeneration and neuroma formation 10, 30, and 90 days later. Ventral root radiculotomy confirmed that CE-stained axons were 97% alpha motor axons. Distance significantly delayed axon regeneration. When distance was negligible, sensory axons grew out sooner than motor axons, but motor axons regenerated to a greater quantity. These results indicate regeneration differences between axon subtypes and suggest more extensive branching of motor axons within the neuroma. Thus, both distance from injury site to soma and inherent motor and sensory differences should be considered in peripheral nerve repair strategies. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Muscle Nerve 21: 1748–1758, 1998