The parameters of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation are critical to its regenerative effects when applied just after a sciatic crush lesion in mice

Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:572949. doi: 10.1155/2014/572949. Epub 2014 Jul 24.


We investigated the effect of two frequencies of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) applied immediately after lesion on peripheral nerve regeneration after a mouse sciatic crush injury. The animals were anesthetized and subjected to crushing of the right sciatic nerve and then separated into three groups: nontreated, Low-TENS (4 Hz), and High-TENS (100 Hz). The animals of Low- and High-TENS groups were stimulated for 2 h immediately after the surgical procedure, while the nontreated group was only positioned for the same period. After five weeks the animals were euthanized, and the nerves dissected bilaterally for histological and histomorphometric analysis. Histological assessment by light and electron microscopy showed that High-TENS and nontreated nerves had a similar profile, with extensive signs of degeneration. Conversely, Low-TENS led to increased regeneration, displaying histological aspects similar to control nerves. High-TENS also led to decreased density of fibers in the range of 6-12 μm diameter and decreased fiber diameter and myelin area in the range of 0-2 μm diameter. These findings suggest that High-TENS applied just after a peripheral nerve crush may be deleterious for regeneration, whereas Low-TENS may increase nerve regeneration capacity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Mice
  • Myelin Sheath / physiology
  • Nerve Crush / methods
  • Nerve Regeneration / physiology*
  • Sciatic Nerve / physiopathology*
  • Sciatic Neuropathy / physiopathology*
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation / methods