Methods to evaluate functional nerve recovery in adult rats: walking track analysis, video analysis and the withdrawal reflex

Dijkstra, N. V., Meek, MF., Robinson, PH. & Gramsbergen, A., 15-Mar-2000, In : Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 96, 2, p. 89-96 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • [No Value] Dijkstra
  • MF Meek
  • PH Robinson
  • A Gramsbergen

The aim of this study was to compare different methods for the evaluation of functional nerve recovery. Three groups of adult male Wistar rats were studied. In group A, a 12-mm gap between nerve ends was bridged by an autologous nerve graft; in rats of group B we performed a crush lesion of the sciatic nerve and group C consisted of non-operated control rats. The withdrawal reflex, elicited by an electric stimulus, was used to evaluate the recovery of sensory nerve function. To investigate motor nerve recovery we analyzed the walking pattern. Three different methods were used to obtain data for footprint analysis: photographic paper with thickened film developer on the paws, normal white paper with finger paint, and video recordings. The footprints were used to calculate the sciatic function index (SFI). From the video recordings, we also analyzed stepcycles. The withdrawal reflex is a convenient and reproducible test for the evaluation of global sensory nerve recovery. Recording walking movements on video and the analysis of footplacing is a perfect although time-consuming method for the evaluation of functional aspects of motor nerve recovery. (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-96
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15-Mar-2000


  • functional nerve recovery, nerve transection, crush lesion, walking-track analysis, video-analysis, rat, withdrawal reflex, SCIATIC FUNCTION INDEX, TIBIAL NERVE, REGENERATION, REPAIR, INJURY, CRUSH, CYCLOSPORINE, ALLOGRAFTS, LOCOMOTION, AUTOTOMY

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