Cuff electrode implantation around the sciatic nerve is associated with an upregulation of TNF-alpha and TGF-beta 1

J Neuroimmunol. 2005 Feb;159(1-2):75-86. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2004.10.010. Epub 2004 Nov 24.


Epineurial fibrosis, fiber loss, limited reproducibility of recordings and variability of stimulation conditions have been documented after extraneural cuff electrode implantation. These morphological and electrophysiological modifications could be due to the local release of cytokines. We report the expression of two cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) in the rat sciatic nerve after 'cuff' implantation for 18 h, 7 days and 1 month. Immunohistochemical and Western blot analyses showed a transient upregulation of TNF-alpha, during the first week, and a prolonged increase of TGF-beta1, over the 1-month period duration of this study. Considering the known pro-inflammatory roles of TNF-alpha and the pro-fibrotic action of TGF-beta, our results strongly suggest that these cytokines may contribute to nerve alterations occurring within the acute and sub-acute phases after cuff electrode implantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Body Weight / immunology
  • Electrodes, Implanted* / adverse effects
  • Fibrosis
  • Gait / immunology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Inflammation Mediators / physiology
  • Male
  • Organ Specificity / immunology
  • Peripheral Nerves / immunology
  • Peripheral Nerves / metabolism
  • Peripheral Nerves / pathology
  • Posture / physiology
  • Rats
  • Sciatic Nerve / immunology*
  • Sciatic Nerve / pathology
  • Sciatic Nerve / physiopathology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / biosynthesis*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / physiology
  • Up-Regulation* / immunology


  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Tgfb1 protein, rat
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha