PloS one

Time-course effect of electrical stimulation on nerve regeneration of diabetic rats.

PMID 25689049


Electrical stimulation (ES) has been shown to promote nerve regeneration in rats with experimental diabetes induced using streptozotocin (STZ). However, the time-course effect of ES on nerve regeneration of diabetic animals has not been reported in previous studies. The present study attempted to examine the effect of different timing of ES after peripheral nerve transection in diabetic rats. Fifty Sprague-Dawley rats were used in the study. They were classified into five groups. STZ-induced diabetes was created in groups A to D. Normal animals in group E were used as the non-diabetic controls. The sciatic nerve was transected and repaired using a silicone rubber conduit across a 10-mm gap in all groups. Groups A to C received ES for 15 minutes every other day for 2 weeks. Stimulation was initiated on day 1 following the nerve repair for group A, day 8 for group B, and day 15 for group C. The diabetic control group D and the normal control group E received no ES. At 30 days after surgery in group A, histological evaluations showed a higher success percentage of regeneration across the 10-mm nerve gap, and the electrophysiological results showed significantly larger mean values of evoked muscle action potential area and amplitude of the reinnervated gastrocnemius muscle compared with group D. It is concluded that an immediate onset of ES may improve the functional recovery of large nerve defect in diabetic animals.