Immune cell distribution and immunoglobulin levels change following sciatic nerve injury in a rat model

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Spine Surgery, Aviation General Hospital of China Medical University, Beijing Institute of Translational Medicine, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 3 Anwai beiyuan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100012, China

2 Department of Neurology, Beijing Tsinghua Changgung Hospital Medical Center, Tsinghua University, No. 168 Li Tang Rd. Dongxiaokou Town, Tiantongyuan Area, Changping District, Beijing, 102218, China


Objective(s): To investigate the systemic and local immune status of two surgical rat models of sciatic nerve injury, a crushed sciatic nerve, and a sciatic nerve transection
Materials and Methods:Twenty-four adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups: sham-operation (control group), sciatic nerve crush, and sciatic nerve transaction. Sciatic nerve surgery was performed. The percentage of CD4+ cells and the CD4+/CD8+ratio were determined by flow cytometry. Serum IgM and IgG levels were analyzed by ELISA. T-cells (CD3) and macrophages (CD68) in sciatic nerve tissue sections were identified through immunohistochemistry.
Results: Compared to sham-operated controls, in rats that underwent nerve injury, the percentage of CD4+ cells and the CD4+/CD8+ ratio in the peripheral blood were significantly  decreased 7 days after surgery, serum IgM levels were increased 14 days after surgery, and serum IgG levels were increased 21 days after surgery. There were a large number of CD3+ cells and a small number of CD68+ cells in sciatic nerve tissue sections 21 days after surgery, indicating T-cell and macrophage activation and infiltration. Local IgG deposition was also detected at the nerve injury site 21 days after surgery.
Conclusion: Rat humoral and cellular immune status changed following sciatic nerve injury, particularly with regard to the cellular immune response at the nerve injury site.


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