Bone marrow stem cells in facial nerve regeneration from isolated stumps


  • This study was supported by grants from the INCT Program Project of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, CNPq, Brasília, Brazil (573633/2008-8 to L.A.H. and R.F.B.) and the São Paulo Research Foundation, FAPESP (CEPID 1998/14254-2), through the facilities of the Human Genome Research Center (Instituto de Biociências, USP, São Paulo, Brazil). Research was funded by FAPESP (2008/53857-8 to L.A.H. and 2008/00458-9 to R.F.B.).

Correspondence to: R. Salomone; e-mail:



Severe lesions in the facial nerve may have extensive axonal loss and leave isolated stumps that impose technical difficulties for nerve grafting. Methods: We evaluated bone marrow stem cells (BMSC) in a silicone conduit for rat facial nerve regeneration from isolated stumps. Group A utilized empty silicone tubes; in groups B–D, the tube was filled with acellular gel; and, in groups C and D, undifferentiated BMSC (uBMSC) or Schwann-like cells differentiated from BMSC (dBMSC) were added, respectively. Compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs) were measured, and histology was evaluated. Results: Groups C and D had the highest CMAP amplitudes. Group C had shorter CMAP durations than groups A, B, and D. Distal axonal number and density were increased in group C compared with groups A and B. Conclusions: Regeneration of the facial nerve was improved by both uBMSC and dBMSC in rats, yet uBMSC was associated with superior functional results. Muscle Nerve 48: 423–429, 2013