Nerve graft immunogenicity as a factor determining axonal regeneration in the rat

A. K. Gulati, G. P. Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Acellular basal lamina grafts have recently been reported to support axonal regeneration and have been used in peripheral nerve repair. The present study was designed to determine the immunogenicity of such basal lamina allografts (grafts that are genetically different) and their potential as bridging material for nerve gap repair. Inbred strains of Fischer and Buffalo rats with known histocompatibility differences were used. Acellular grafts were prepared by repeated freezing and thawing nerve tissue predegenerated in situ for 6 weeks. Non-frozen predegenerated nerves were used as cellular grafts for comparison. Fischer rats were used as hosts and received cellular or acellular grafts obtained from Fischer (isograft, genetically identical) or Buffalo (allograft) donors. The grafts were evaluated morphologically at 1, 2, 4, and 12 weeks after transplantation. The cellular isografts supported axonal regeneration best. The cellular allografts were invariably rejected and were unsuccessful or only partially successful in supporting regeneration. In contrast, acellular allografts, in spite of their mild immunogenicity were successful in supporting regeneration, as were the acellular isografts. The rate of host axonal regeneration and recovery of target muscle was reduced in acellular allografs and isografts as compared to cellular isografts. It is concluded that acellular allografts are suitable for supporting axonal regeneration and may be used to bridge gaps in injured peripheral nerves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-122
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990


  • Nerve graft
  • axonal regeneration
  • immunogenicity
  • peripheral nerve
  • rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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