Neuroprotective effect of Lovastatin on motor deficit induced by sciatic nerve crush in the rat

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Following severe peripheral nerve injury (PNI), regeneration is often insufficient and functional recovery is incomplete. Any agents that limit the spread of neural tissue damage may enhance the nerve regeneration. In this regard, statins have been shown to have neuroprotective properties. We investigated the effects of Lovastatin against sciatic nerve crush injury in male Wistar Rats. Lovastatin or vehicle was given parenteraly to rats for 7 days postoperative. In Lovastatin treatment groups, a single dose of agent (2 and 5 mg/kg) was administered daily. The control group was given vehicle in the same manner. The rats were subjected to crush injury in the left sciatic nerve with non-serrated clamp for 30 s. Behavioral, electrophysiological and morphological alterations were evaluated during the experimental period. Results showed that Lovastatin in a dose of 5 mg/kg could significantly (P < 0.05) accelerate regeneration process and functional recovery. Also results demonstrated that morphometric parameters such as mean axonal number and myelin thickness were significantly higher in Lovastatin (5 mg/kg) treatment groups compared to controls (P < 0.05). These findings suggest that a short-term course treatment with Lovastatin can protect against sciatic nerve injury. Findings indicate that postoperative administration of Lovastatin led to accelerate regeneration process and motor function recovery in nerve crush model in rats. This effect might be due to the anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory or anti-oxidative properties of Lovastatin. It is clear that more research is needed to confirm these findings.

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