The objective was to study the effectiveness of a commercially available collagen conduit filled with fibrin-agarose hydrogels alone or with fibrin-agarose hydrogels containing autologous adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADMSCs) in a rat sciatic nerve injury model. A 10 mm gap was created in the sciatic nerve of 48 rats and repaired using saline-filled collagen conduits or collagen conduits filled with fibrin-agarose hydrogels alone (acellular conduits) or with hydrogels containing ADMSCs (ADMSC conduits). Nerve regeneration was assessed in clinical, electrophysiological and histological studies. Clinical and electrophysiological outcomes were more favorable with ADMSC conduits than with the acellular or saline conduits, evidencing a significant recovery of sensory and motor functions. Histological analysis showed that ADMSC conduits produce more effective nerve regeneration by Schwann cells, with higher remyelination and properly oriented axonal growth that reached the distal areas of the grafted conduits, and with intensely positive expressions of S100, neurofilament and laminin. Extracellular matrix was also more abundant and better organized around regenerated nerve tissues with ADMSC conduits than those with acellular or saline conduits. Clinical, electrophysiological and histological improvements obtained with tissue-engineered ADMSC conduits may contribute to enhancing axonal regeneration by Schwann cells.