Neurological research

Enhanced functional recovery from sciatic nerve crush injury through a combined treatment of cold-water swimming and mesenchymal stem cell transplantation.

PMID 26042664


Although regimens of stem cell implantation can elicit functional recovery following peripheral nerve injury, the degree of outcome is still limited. This study evaluated the synergistic effects of cold-water swimming (CWS) and mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation on functional recovery of crushed sciatic nerve in rats. Forty Sprague-Dawley rats that had their sciatic nerve crushed during surgery were randomly divided into four groups: MSCCWS group, treated with combination of MSC and CWS; MSC group, treated with MSC alone; CWS group, treated with CWS alone; and non-treated group, without any treatments. The sciatic function index (SFI), vertical activity (VA), ankle activity (AA) and electrophysiological study were examined before, immediately after surgery, after the treatment and after 4  weeks from treatment. Morphological and S100 immunohistochemical studies were also performed. The MSCCWS group showed a greater improvement in SFI, VA, AA, peak amplitudes and onset latencies of compound muscle action potential (CMAP) in sciatic nerve and infiltration of immune cells with significant difference from the MSC, CWS and non-treated groups (P < 0.05). MSC transplantation combined with CWS could achieve better results in functional recovery than a single treatment of MSC alone or CWS alone in nerve crush injury.