Neutralizing BDNF and FGF2 injection into denervated skeletal muscle improve recovery after nerve repair

Svenja Rink, Christina Chatziparaskeva, Luisa Elles, Stoyan Pavlov, Klaus Nohroudi, Habib Bendella, Levent Sarikcioglu, Marilena Manthou, Sarah Dunlop, Tessa Gordon, Doychin N. Angelov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: After facial nerve injury and surgical repair in rats, recovery of vibrissal whisking is associated with a high proportion of mono-innervated neuro-muscular junctions (NMJs). Our earlier work with Sprague Dawley (SD)/Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats, which are blind and spontaneously restore NMJ-monoinnervation and whisking, showed correlations between functional recovery and increase of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in denervated vibrissal muscles. Methods: We used normally sighted rats (Wistar), in which NMJ-polyinnervation is highly correlated with poor whisking recovery, and injected the vibrissal muscle levator labii superioris (LLS) with combinations of BDNF, anti-BDNF, and FGF2 at different postoperative periods after facial nerve injury. Results: Rats receiving anti-BDNF+FGF2 showed low NMJ-polyinnervation and best recovery of whisking amplitude. Conclusions: Restoration of target reinnervation after peripheral nerve injury requires a complex mixture of trophic factors with a specific time course of availability for each of them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-412
Number of pages9
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


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