Compression neuropathies are common and debilitating conditions that result in variable functional recovery after surgical decompression. Recent drug repurposing studies have verified that clemastine promotes functional recovery through enhancement of myelin repair in demyelinating disease. We investigated the utility of clemastine as a treatment for compression neuropathy using a validated murine model of compression neuropathy encircling the compression tube around the sciatic nerve. Mice received PBS or clemastine solution for 6 weeks of compression phase. Mice taken surgical decompression received PBS or clemastine solution for 2 weeks of decompression phase. Electrodiagnostic, histomorphometric, and Western immunoblotting analyses were performed to verify the effects of clemastine. During the compression phase, mice treated with clemastine had significantly decreased latency and increased amplitude compared to untreated mice that received PBS. Histomorphometric analyses revealed that mice treated with clemastine had significantly higher proportions of myelinated axons, thicker myelin, and a lower G-ratio. The expression levels of myelin proteins, including myelin protein zero and myelin associated glycoprotein, were higher in mice treated with clemastine. However, the electrophysiologic and histomorphometric improvements were observed regardless of clemastine treatment in mice taken surgical decompression. Mice treated with clemastine during compression of the sciatic nerve demonstrated that clemastine treatment attenuated electrophysiologic and histomorphometric changes caused by compression through promoting myelin repair.
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