Combination therapy using evening primrose oil and electrical stimulation to improve nerve function following a crush injury of sciatic nerve in male rats.
Neural Regen Res. 2017 Mar ;12(3):458-463. PMID: 28469662
Peripheral nerve injuries with a poor prognosis are common. Evening primrose oil (EPO) has beneficial biological effects and immunomodulatory properties. Since electrical activity plays a major role in neural regeneration, the present study investigated the effects of electrical stimulation (ES), combined with evening primrose oil (EPO), on sciatic nerve function after a crush injury in rats. In anesthetized rats, the sciatic nerve was crushed using small haemostatic forceps followed by ES and/or EPO treatment for 4 weeks. Functional recovery of the sciatic nerve was assessed using the sciatic functional index. Histopathological changes of gastrocnemius muscle atrophy were investigated by light microscopy. Electrophysiological changes were assessed by the nerve conduction velocity of sciatic nerves. Immunohistochemistry was used to determine the remyelination of the sciatic nerve following the interventions. EPO + ES, EPO, and ES obviously improved sciatic nerve function assessed by the sciatic functional index and nerve conduction velocity of the sciatic nerve at 28 days after operation. Expression of the peripheral nerve remyelination marker, protein zero (P0), was increased in the treatment groups at 28 days after operation. Muscle atrophy severity was decreased significantly while the nerve conduction velocity was increased significantly in rats with sciatic nerve injury in the injury + EPO + ES group than in the EPO or ES group. Totally speaking, the combined use of EPO and ES may produce an improving effect on the function of sciatic nerves injured by a crush. The increased expression of P0 may have contributed to improving the functional effects of combination therapy with EPO and ES as well as the electrophysiological and histopathological features of the injured peripheral nerve.