Ventral root avulsion (VRA) is an experimental model of proximal axonal injury at the central/peripheral nervous system interface that results in significant neuronal death. In order to decrease neuronal degeneration and treating such injuries, the reimplantation of avulsed roots is an alternative approach. Such procedure may be done by direct suturing the avulsed roots to the surface of the spinal cord or by the use of fibrin sealant. The aim of the present work is to investigate whether snake venom derived fibrin glue is as effective as the commercial counterpart. In this sense, female Lewis rats (7 weeks old) will be subjected to VRA and roots reimplantation. The animals will be divided into the following groups (n=10 for each group): Group 1 - avulsion only; Group 2 - avulsion followed by root repair by using commercial fibrin glue (Beriplast® P); Group 3- root reimplantation with fibrin sealant derived from snake venom. The animals will be monitored up to 4 and 12 weeks post-surgery and will be sacrificed. Their lumbar intumescences and sciatic nerves will be processed for motoneuron counting, regeneratied axons morphometry and immunohistochemistry (antisera to be used: anti-GFAP- glial fibrillary acidic protein, an astroglial marker; Iba-1- ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule, a microglial marker; synaptophysin - a synaptic marker, Chat - acetyl choline transferase, p75NTR - pan neurotrophin receptor, S100 - Schwann cell marker and laminin). Motor recovery will be evaluated with the walking track test, by using the CatWalk system (Noldus Inc.) from the time of the lesion up to 12 weeks post root repair.
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