• BDNF;
  • muscle;
  • NT-3;
  • NT-4;
  • peripheral nerve

Abstract  The changes in the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4) in the rat neuromuscular system as a result of three different types of sciatic nerve injuries have been evaluated. The changes in mRNA and protein levels for BDNF, NT-3, and NT-4 in the soleus muscle and sciatic nerve were assessed 4–28 days after sciatic nerve transection (neurotmesis), sciatic nerve crush (axonotmesis), and mild acute compression (neurapraxia). BDNF mRNA levels increased dramatically with nerve transection in the soleus muscle and the sciatic nerve 7–14 days after injury, whereas the changes were low in other types of injury. The changes of protein levels for BDNF were also similar. The mRNA and the protein levels of NT-3 in the soleus muscle did not show any significant difference. The mRNA for NT-4 in the soleus muscle decreased from 4 to 14 days after sciatic nerve transection, and the protein level was also minimum 14 days after sciatic nerve transection. Our results indicate that the neurotrophic factors in the neuromuscular system could play a role in differentiating peripheral nerve injury.