Peripheral nerve injury is one of common traumas. Although injured peripheral nerves have the capacity to regenerate, axon regeneration proceeds slowly and functional outcomes are often poor. Pharmacological enhancement of regeneration can play an important role in increasing functional recovery. In this study, we developed a novel electrospun nanofiber sheet incorporating methylcobalamin (MeCbl), one of the active forms of vitamin B12 homologues, to deliver it enough locally to the peripheral nerve injury site. We evaluated whether local administration of MeCbl at the nerve injury site was effective in promoting nerve regeneration. Electrospun nanofiber sheets gradually released MeCbl for at least 8weeks when tested in vitro. There was no adverse effect of nanofiber sheets on function in vivo of the peripheral nervous system. Local implantation of nanofiber sheets incorporating MeCbl contributed to the recovery of the motor and sensory function, the recovery of nerve conduction velocity, and the promotion of myelination after sciatic nerve injury, without affecting plasma concentration of MeCbl.
Statement of significance: Methylcobalamin (MeCbl) is a vitamin B12 analog and we previously reported its effectiveness in axonal outgrowth of neurons and differentiation of Schwann cells both in vitro and in vivo. Here we estimated the effect of local administered MeCbl with an electrospun nanofiber sheet on peripheral nerve injury. Local administration of MeCbl promoted functional recovery in a rat sciatic nerve crush injury model. These sheets are useful for nerve injury in continuity differently from artificial nerve conduits, which are useful only for nerve defects. We believe that the findings of this study are relevant to the scope of your journal and will be of interest to its readership.
Keywords: Electrospun nanofiber sheet; Functional recovery; Methylcobalamin; Myelination; Peripheral nerve regeneration.
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