Nerve regeneration across a 10-mm gap was delayed in streptozotocin diabetic rats 3 and 4 weeks after transecting the sciatic nerve. Opposite ends of each cut nerve were introduced into a silicone tube, leaving a 10-mm gap. Electron microscopy was used to evaluate the progress of regeneration in sections at 2-mm intervals across the 10-mm gap. After 3 weeks, control axons had bridged the 10-mm gap, and myelin sheaths extended for 6-8 mm. By contrast, axons and their myelin sheaths were seen no further than 2 mm from the proximal stump in diabetic animals. By 4 weeks, axons had bridged the gap in diabetics; however, they appeared immature and showed dystrophic changes. The findings suggest that although regeneration does occur in diabetic nerves, it is significantly delayed and qualitatively impaired.
View details for Web of Science ID A1986C513300001
View details for PubMedID 2941683