The effect of duration of muscle denervation on functional recovery in the rat model

Jun Kobayashi, Susan E. Mackinnon, Osamu Watanabe, Douglas J. Ball, Xiao Ming Gu, Daniel A. Hunter, William M. Kuzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


The effect of long-term denervation on neuromuscular recovery was studied in a rat hind limb model. The posterior tibial nerve was transected and repaired immediately or after denervation periods of 2 weeks, or 1, 3, 6, 9, or 12 months. Six months following reconstruction excellent axonal regeneration was seen across all nerve repairs irrespective of periods of denervation. However, there was a precipitous and profound decrease in the recovery of both muscle mass and integrated motor function if the reconstruction was delayed for longer than 1 month. Rather than a progressive change proportional to the length of the denervation period, significant, more discrete changes occurred sometime after 1 month of denervation that precluded a full recovery of muscle mass. Integrated motor function quantified using walking track analysis was impaired even after immediate nerve repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)858-866
Number of pages9
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1997


  • Muscle denervation
  • Nerve regeneration
  • Walking-track analysis


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