Background: Propolis and curcumin have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and neuroprotective features. The goal of this study was to determine the effects of propolis and curcumin on nerve healing in rat sciatic nerve crush injuries and to compare these effects with results obtained using steroid treatment.
Methods: In the sham group, the right sciatic nerves of rats were dissected and exposed, and the skin was closed without any additional manipulation. In the control group (group C), after the right sciatic nerves of rats were exposed, crush damage was inflicted using a surgical clamp. In the control-methylprednisolone group, crush injuries were inflicted on sciatic nerves as in group C. After injury, 1-mg/kg methylprednisolone was administered daily for 6 days and was then tapered for 4 days. In the curcumin group, crush injuries were inflicted on sciatic nerves as in group C. Then, 100-mg/kg curcumin was given every day. In the propolis group, crush injuries were inflicted on sciatic nerves as in group C. Then, 200-mg/kg propolis was given every day. Rats were evaluated after 28 days using functional (walking track analysis and electrophysiological measurements), histomorphometric, electron microscopic, and muscle weight measurements.
Results: Compared to the control groups, the curcumin and propolis groups had better functional (walking track analysis and electrophysiological) results after experimental peripheral nerve crush injury.
Conclusions: Curcumin and propolis, 2 traditional drugs, had a positive effect on nerve crush injuries. We are convinced that they can be used to support routine treatment in such nerve injuries.