Peripheral nerve transfers change target muscle structure and function

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Researchers

  • Konstantin D. Bergmeister
  • Martin Aman
  • Silvia Muceli
  • Ivan Vujaklija

  • Krisztina Manzano-Szalai
  • Ewald Unger
  • Ruth A. Byrne
  • Clemens Scheinecker
  • Otto Riedl
  • Stefan Salminger
  • Florian Frommlet
  • Gregory H. Borschel
  • Dario Farina
  • Oskar C. Aszmann

Research units

  • Medical University of Vienna
  • University Medical Center Göttingen
  • Imperial College London
  • The Hospital for Sick Children

Abstract

Selective nerve transfers surgically rewire motor neurons and are used in extremity reconstruction to restore muscle function or to facilitate intuitive prosthetic control. We investigated the neurophysiological effects of rewiring motor axons originating from spinal motor neuron pools into target muscles with lower innervation ratio in a rat model. Following reinnervation, the target muscle's force regenerated almost completely, with the motor unit population increasing to 116% in functional and 172% in histological assessments with subsequently smaller muscle units. Muscle fiber type populations transformed into the donor nerve's original muscles. We thus demonstrate that axons of alternative spinal origin can hyper-reinnervate target muscles without loss of muscle force regeneration, but with a donor-specific shift in muscle fiber type. These results explain the excellent clinical outcomes following nerve transfers in neuromuscular reconstruction. They indicate that reinnervated muscles can provide an accurate bioscreen to display neural information of lost body parts for high-fidelity prosthetic control.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaau2956
Number of pages9
JournalScience Advances
Volume5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • AMPUTATION, AVULSION, BRACHIAL-PLEXUS, CONDUCTION-VELOCITY, INJURY, MODEL, NEUROMA, REINNERVATION, SELECTIVE MOTOR HYPERREINNERVATION, SURFACE

ID: 34519356