Pharmacological treatment is a therapeutic approach to improving nerve regeneration and functional recovery after peripheral nerve crush injury. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of the polypeptides isolated from Achyranthes bidentata Blume (abbreviated as ABPP) on rat sciatic crush injury and to test the possible involvement of neurotrophic factors. After surgical crush injury, rats received daily intraperitoneal injection of 0.2 ml saline containing 2 mg ABPP, 1 μg nerve growth factor (NGF) or no additive. The results from walking track analysis, electrophysiological assessment and histological evaluation indicated that the repair outcomes by ABPP treatment were close to those by NGF treatment, but better than those by treatment with saline alone. The quantitative real-time RT-PCR was used to monitor the mRNA expression of growth associated protein in the crush nerves and the mRNA expression of NGF, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), tyrosine kinase (Trk)A and TrkB in the dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) at L4-L6. The mRNA expression of these genes in the crush nerve sample and DRGs sample was higher after treatment with ABPP or NGF than after treatment with saline alone. Our findings suggest that ABPP might protect peripheral nerve against crush injury through stimulating release of neurotrophic factors and the other cytokines.