• Silicone chamber;
  • Sciatic nerve;
  • Regeneration;
  • Neurofilament;
  • S-100 protein;
  • Dot immunobinding assay

Abstract: In the present study, neuronal and Schwann cell marker proteins were used to biochemically characterize the spatiotemporal progress of degeneration/regeneration in the silicone chamber model for nerve regeneration. Rat sciatic nerves were transected and the proximal and distal stumps were inserted into a bridging silicone chamber with a 10-mm interstump gap. Using dot immunobinding assays, S-100 protein and neuronal intermediate filament polypeptides were measured in different parts of the nerve 0–30 days after transaction. In the most proximal nerve segment, all the measured proteins were transiently increased. In the proximal and distal stumps adjacent to the transection, the studied proteins were decreased indicating degeneration of the nerve. Within the silicone chamber, the regenerating nerve expressed the Schwann cell S-100 protein already at 7 days, whereas the neurofilament polypeptides appeared later. These observations are corroborated by previous morphological studies. The biochemical method described provides a new and fast approach to the study of nerve regeneration.