01-08-2003, 07:17 PM
• Guntinas-Lichius O, Wewetzer K, Tomov TL, Azzolin N, Kazemi S, Streppel M, Neiss WF and Angelov DN (2002). Transplantation of olfactory mucosa minimizes axonal branching and promotes the recovery of vibrissae motor performance after facial nerve repair in rats. J Neurosci 22:7121-31. Summary: The occurrence of abnormally associated movements is inevitable after facial nerve transection. The reason for this post-paralytic syndrome is poor guidance of regrowing axons, whereby a given muscle group is reinnervated by misrouted axonal branches. Olfactory ensheathing glia have been shown to reduce axonal sprouting and stimulate axonal regeneration after transplantation into the spinal cord. In the present study, we asked whether transplantation of olfactory mucosa (OM) would also reduce sprouting of a damaged peripheral pure motor nerve. The adult facial nerve was transected, and the effect of the OM placed at the lesion site was analyzed with regard to the accuracy of target reinnervation, axonal sprouting of motoneurons, and vibrissal motor performance. Accuracy of target reinnervation and axonal sprouting were studied using preoperative/postoperative labeling and triple retrograde labeling of facial motoneurons, respectively. The vibrissal motor performance was monitored using a video-based motion analysis. We show here that implantation of OM, compared with simple facial-facial anastomosis, (1) improved the protraction, amplitude, angular velocity, and acceleration of vibrissal movements up to 80% of the control values, (2) reduced the percentage of branching motoneurons from 76 to 39%, and (3) improved the accuracy of reinnervation from 22 to 49%. Moreover, we present evidence, that transplanted OM but not buccal mucous membrane induced a sustained upregulation of trophic factors at the lesion site. It is concluded that transplantation of OM to the transected facial nerve significantly improves nerve regeneration. Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, University of Cologne, 50931 Cologne, Germany.