Authors: Nadina Liana Pop1, Daniela-Rodica Mitrea1, Andrada Elena Urdă-Cîmpean2, Athanasia Glossa-Athanasoula3, Vlad Alexandru Toma4,5, Remus Moldovan1, Alexandrina Nan6, Nicoleta Decea1, Adriana Filip1, Simona Clichici1, Remus Orăsan1
1 Department of Physiology, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj-Napoca,
2 Department of Informatics and Biostatistics, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy
Cluj- Napoca, Romania
3 Student, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj-Napoca, Romania
4 Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnologies, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca,
5 Institute of Biological Research, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
6 National Institute for Research and Development of Isotopic and Molecular Technologies, Cluj-Napoca,
Background. Peripheral nerve injuries represent a challenging medical problem regarding rehabilitation and finding an optimal treatment method. Currently, various drugs are used for the symptomatic treatment of peripheral nerve injuries (such as pain medication, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, vitamins etc.) with inconsistent or short-term results, without providing an efficient recovery. Recently, the research has focused on different natural substances, such as chitosan, for the treatment of peripheral nerve injuries.
Aims. The present research analyzed the effects of chitosan oral administration on an experimentally I74586HV induced peripheral nerve injury.
Methods. In the present applicative study, a peripheral nerve injury was induced on sixteen white male Wistar rats, divided into two equal groups. The effects of chitosan were examined during 21 days, compared to the control group, by assessing the following parameters: sciatic functional index (SFI), total body weight of the animal, pain-like behavior, serum nerve growth factor (NGF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels, and also by histological studies.
Results. The obtained results were statistically evaluated using different methods (t-test, Bonferroni correction, GraphPad Software, ANOVA, Mann–Whitney U test), with the p-value significance level set at p<0.05. The animals treated with chitosan had a statistically significant functional improvement, compared to the control group regarding all investigated parameters and it was confirmed by the histological studies.
Conclusions. The present research suggests that chitosan administered orally can become an optimal conservative treatment method for peripheral nerve injuries, but more studies are needed to confirm these results.
Key words: functional rehabilitation; peripheral nerve injury; chitosan.
Abbreviations: IL-6 – interleukin-6; NGF – nerve growth factor; PNI – peripheral nerve injury; SFI – sciatic functional index.