BACKGROUND: FK-506 is used in organ transplantation because it promotes neurite outgrowth in vitro and enhances neuroregeneration in peripheral nerve injury transection models. Immunosuppressive mechanisms of FK-506 are well defined, with demonstration of decreased neuroregenerative effects with delayed administration. The purpose of this study was to describe the effects of preinjury administration of FK-506 in rats with tibial nerve transection injury. METHODS: Eight inbred male Lewis rats per group in three separate groups underwent tibial nerve transection with primary repair. Group I received placebo, group II received FK-506 treatment at 1 day before surgery, and group III received FK-506 preloading 3 days before surgery. RESULTS: Histologic and histomorphometric results demonstrated the preload FK-506 group had superior results compared with the immediate FK-506 group. Both FK-506 groups were superior to the placebo group. The preload FK-506 demonstrated superior regeneration in mean total nerve fiber counts (p < 0.05), greater percentage neural tissue (p < 0.05), greater mean nerve fiber density (p < 0.05), and lower percentage of debris (p > 0.05). Mean nerve fiber widths were similar in the preload and immediate FK-506 groups but superior to the placebo group. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that enhancement of FK-506's neuroregenerative effect is enhanced when administered before nerve injury such as when performing elective surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-367
Number of pages8
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2006


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