Overexpression of Neuregulin-1 (NRG-1) Gene Contributes to Surgical Repair of Brachial Plexus Injury After Contralateral C7 Nerve Root Transfer in Rats
Zong-Qiang Wang, Dian-Hui Xiu, Gui-Feng Liu, Jin-Lan Jiang
(Medical Department, China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, China (mainland))
Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:5779-5787
Surgeons usually transfer the contralateral C7 to the median nerve on the injured side via a nerve graft to recover sensation and movement in a paralyzed hand. The purpose of our study was to determine whether NRG-1 affects the recovery of nerve function in brachial plexus injury after contralateral C7 nerve root transfer in a rat model.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: An injury model of left brachial plexus and contralateral C7 nerve root transfer was established. Four weeks after the operation, NRG-1 expression was examined by reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis. The diameter rate differences of the healthy limb and affected limb were estimated. The postoperative mass of the left latissimus dorsi, triceps, extensor carpi radialis brevis, and musculus extensor digitorum were examined. The number of nerve fibers and typical area of the affected side were assessed. Postoperative left motor nerve conduction velocity (MNCV) and motor nerve action potential (MNAP) were tested by use of a biological information recording and collecting system.
RESULTS: Eukaryotic expression plasmid of pcDNA4/myc/A-NRG-1 was successfully constructed, and NRG-1 was overexpressed. Compared with the model group, the NRG-1 group had a lower rate of differences of the limbs; higher mass of left latissimus dorsi, triceps, extensor carpi radialis brevis, and musculus extensor digitorum; more nerve fibers and larger typical area in the affected side, left MNCV, and MNAP; and wider CSA of the left triceps.
CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrated that NRG-1 can promote recovery of nerve function in brachial plexus injury after contralateral C7 nerve root transfer in rats.
Keywords: Brachial Plexus, Muscular Atrophy, Spinal, Radiology