Functional recovery following peripheral nerve injury in the transgenic Thy1-GFP rat

J Peripher Nerv Syst. 2013 Sep;18(3):220-31. doi: 10.1111/jns5.12035.


Transgenic mice have been previously used to assess nerve regeneration following peripheral nerve injury. However, mouse models are limited by their small caliber nerves, short nerve lengths, and their inability to fully participate during behavioral assessments. The transgenic Thy1 GFP rat is a novel transgenic rat model designed to assess regeneration following peripheral nerve injury. However, return of functional and behavioral recovery following nerve injury has not yet been evaluated in these rats. In this study, we ask whether differences in anatomy, recovery of locomotion, myological, and histomorphological measures exist between transgenic Thy1 GFP rats when compared to wild type (WT) Sprague Dawley rats following unilateral sciatic nerve injury. We found that both motor and sensory neuronal architecture, overground and skilled locomotion, muscle force, motor unit number estimation (MUNE) and wet muscle weights, and histomorphometric assessments are similar between both genetic phenotypes. Overall, these data support the use of the transgenic Thy1-GFP rat in experiments assessing functional and behavioral recovery following nerve injury and repair.

Keywords: functional recovery; nerve injury; nerve regeneration; skilled locomotion; transgenic rat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axotomy
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Ganglia, Spinal / pathology
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Locomotion / physiology
  • Male
  • Motor Neurons / pathology
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Muscle Strength
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rats, Transgenic
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Sciatic Neuropathy / pathology
  • Sciatic Neuropathy / physiopathology*
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / pathology
  • Spinal Cord / pathology
  • Stilbamidines
  • Thy-1 Antigens / genetics


  • 2-hydroxy-4,4'-diamidinostilbene, methanesulfonate salt
  • Stilbamidines
  • Thy-1 Antigens
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins