Purpose: To investigate the effects of the nitric oxide donor S-nitroso-N-acetylcysteine (SNAC) on motor functional recovery of reperfused rat sciatic nerve. Methods: Seventy-eight rats were divided into groups treated with SNAC (100 nmol/100 g/min), methylprednisolone 30 mg/kg/h for 15 minutes, 45-minute pause, 5.4 mg/kg/h for 1.5h), and phosphate-buffered saline 0.2 mL/100 g/h). A 1-cm segment of sciatic nerve had 2 hours of ischemia and the results were evaluated after various reperfusion periods using a walking track test, muscle contractile testing, muscle weight, and histology. Results: During reperfusion there was a significant overall improvement in sciatic functional index measurement and isometric titanic contractile force for the SNAC-treated group compared with the methylprednisolone- and phosphate-buffered saline- treated groups. The SNAC group had significantly earlier improvement in the sciatic functional index measurement between days 7 and 28. Restoration of the contractile force and muscle weight of the extensor digitorum longus muscle began earlier in the SNAC group - after day 11 - whereas the other 2 groups showed progressive atrophy until day 21, with a significant difference between the SNAC group and the other 2 groups. Histologic examination showed that SNAC-treated rats had less severe degeneration and earlier regeneration of axons than the others. Although methylprednisolone-treated rats showed earlier recovery than phosphate-buffered saline-treated rats in all parameters there were no significant differences between these 2 groups. Conclusions: Supplementation of nitric oxide is effective in promoting motor functional recovery of the reperfused peripheral nerve and has potential to replace or augment steroids as therapeutic agents in treatment of nervous system ischemia/reperfusion injury.
- Contractile force
- Motor function
- S-nitroso-N-acetylcysteine (SNAC)
- Sciatic nerve
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine