Novel Model of Somatosensory Nerve Transfer in the Rat

  • Adriana M. Paskal
  • Wiktor Paskal
  • Kacper Pelka
  • Martyna Podobinska
  • Jaroslaw Andrychowski
  • Pawel K. WlodarskiEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1096)


Nerve transfer (neurotization) is a reconstructive procedure in which the distal denervated nerve is joined with a proximal healthy nerve of a less significant function. Neurotization models described to date are limited to avulsed roots or pure motor nerve transfers, neglecting the clinically significant mixed nerve transfer. Our aim was to determine whether femoral-to-sciatic nerve transfer could be a feasible model of mixed nerve transfer. Three Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to unilateral femoral-to-sciatic nerve transfer. After 50 days, functional recovery was evaluated with a prick test. At the same time, axonal tracers were injected into each sciatic nerve distally to the lesion site, to determine nerve fibers’ regeneration. In the prick test, the rats retracted their hind limbs after stimulation, although the reaction was moderately weaker on the operated side. Seven days after injection of axonal tracers, dyes were visualized by confocal microscopy in the spinal cord. Innervation of the recipient nerve originated from higher segments of the spinal cord than that on the untreated side. The results imply that the femoral nerve axons, ingrown into the damaged sciatic nerve, reinnervate distal targets with a functional outcome.


Axonal tracers Nerve fibers Nerve transfer Neuroregeneration Neurotization Sciatic nerve Spinal cord injury 



Supported by the Medical University of Warsaw, Second Faculty of Medicine, Grant No. 2 W8/NM2/16, and the statutory funds from the First Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Warsaw. The funder had no involvement in the study design nor in data collection, analysis, or interpretation.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to this article.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adriana M. Paskal
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wiktor Paskal
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kacper Pelka
    • 2
  • Martyna Podobinska
    • 1
  • Jaroslaw Andrychowski
    • 3
  • Pawel K. Wlodarski
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Experimental and Clinical Physiology, Laboratory of Center for Preclinical ResearchWarsaw Medical UniversityWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Department of Histology and Embryology, Laboratory of Center for Preclinical ResearchWarsaw Medical UniversityWarsawPoland
  3. 3.Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Faculty of Medical SciencesUniversity of Warmia and Mazury in OlsztynOlsztynPoland

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