Current Medical Science

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 59–66 | Cite as

Muscle Fiber Type Changes in Lumbrical Muscles at Early Stages of Chronic Nerve Compression

  • Zhen-yu Liu
  • Jiang-hai Chen
  • Zhen-bing ChenEmail author


Chronic nerve compression (CNC) neuropathy is a common disease in the clinic and provokes paraesthesia, or numbness at early stage. The changes in muscle fiber composition and motor nerve terminal morphology in distal muscles were studied in this study. A well-established CNC model was used to assess the changes in the muscles. Behaviors were measured by von Frey filament test. The myosin heavy chain isoforms and neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) were stained by immunofluorescence to show the muscle fiber types composition and motor nerve terminals morphologic changes in the flexor digitorum longus (FDL) and lumbrical muscle. The fiber cross-sectional areas of different muscle fiber types were measured. The small-fiber degeneration of cutaneous nerve fibers was examined by detecting the protein gene product 9.5 (PGP9.5) with immunofluorescence. At 2nd month after compression, the proportion of type I and type II B fibers was markedly decreased, and that of type II A fibers was increased in the lumbrical muscle. There was no significant change in composition of muscle fiber types in FDL and NMJ morphology of FDL and lumbrical muscles. Intra-epidermal nerve fibre density (IENFD) declined at 2nd month after the compression. Our study reveals the morphological changes of the FDL and lumbrical muscle at an early stage of CNC. These findings may be helpful to understand muscle damage and pathophysiological development of the nerve compression, and provide new evidence for early treatment of CNC.

Key words

chronic nerve compression neuropathy carpal tunnel syndrome lumbrical muscles intra-epidermal nerve fiber density neuromuscular junctions 


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Copyright information

© Huazhong University of Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Hand Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina

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