The Peripheral Nerve Allograft in the Primate Immunosuppressed with Cyclosporin A
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Isometric contractile function was evaluated in primates receiving peripheral nerve allografts and autografts. Twelve adult male cynomolgus monkeys received both sural nerve allografts and autografts to the ulnar nerve in opposite forearms. Half the animals received Cyclosporin A (CsA) immunosuppression (25 mg/kg per day); the remaining animals received placebo. One year following nerve engraftment, isometric contractile muscle function was evaluated in reinnervated abductor digiti quinti and intact abductor pollicis brevis muscles. Maximal twitch tension (Pt), tetanic tension (P(o)), time to peak tension (tpt), rate of rise of twitch tension (DP/dt), and muscle fatigue were evaluated at optimal muscle length (L(o)). All reinnervated muscles distal to nerve autografts and allografts in both Cyclosporin A-immunosuppressed and placebo-treated animals generated equivalent maximal twitch tension, tetanic tension, and time to peak tension, with no significant difference between groups (p > 0.05 by ANOVA). There was a tendency toward increased muscle fatiguability in Cyclosporin A-treated animals (p > 0.05). However, the rate of rise of twitch tension was significantly faster in the reinnervated and intact muscles of Cyclosporin A-treated primates (p < 0.05). Evidence of excellent functional reinnervation across nerve allografts and autografts similar to that seen in histologic and electrophysiologic studies was noted. Cyclosporin A immunosuppression did not significantly enhance recovery of muscle function distal to nerve allografts in this model.
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