Etifoxine provides benefits in nerve repair with acellular nerve grafts


  • This study was supported by grants from National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (2012AA020507), the National Nature Science Grant of China (30700847), 985 program of Sun Yat-sen University (Grant No. 90035-3283312); Specialized Research Fund for the Doctral Program of Higher Education (SRFDP) (Grant No. 20120171120075); and the Doctoral Start-up Project of the Guangdong Nature Science Foundation (S201204006336).


Introduction: Acellular nerve grafts are good candidates for nerve repair, but the clinical outcome of grafting is not always satisfactory. We investigated whether etifoxine could enhance nerve regeneration. Methods: Seventy-two Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 3 groups: (1) autograft; (2) acellular nerve graft; and (3) acellular nerve graft plus etifoxine. Histological and electrophysiological examinations were performed to evaluate the efficacy of nerve regeneration. Walking-track analysis was used to examine functional recovery. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to evaluate changes in mRNA level. Results: Etifoxine: (i) increased expression of neurofilaments in regenerated axons; (ii) improved sciatic nerve regeneration measured by histological examination; (iii) increased nerve conduction velocity; (iv) improved walking behavior as measured by footprint analysis; and (v) boosted expression of neurotrophins. Conclusions: These results show that etifoxine can enhance peripheral nerve regeneration across large nerve gaps repaired by acellular nerve grafts by increasing expression of neurotrophins. Muscle Nerve 50:235–243, 2014