Sural Hypersensitivity after Nerve Transection depends on Anatomical Differences in the Distal Tibial Nerve of Mice and Rats

E M Brakkee, E DeVinney, N Eijkelkamp, J H Coert

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Various mouse and rat models of neuropathic pain after nerve injury exist. Whilst some models involve a proximal nerve lesion or ligation of the sciatic trifurcation in mice and rats, others consists of a transection or ligation of distal nerves at the tibial bifurcation in mice or rats. The level of nerve cut directly affects the magnitude of hypersensitivity, and anatomical differences between mice and rats might therefore impact the development of hypersensitivity after distal tibial nerve transection as well.

METHODS: The bifurcation of the distal tibial nerve into the medial and lateral plantar nerve (MPN and LPN), and the presence of anatomical differences in sural and tibial nerve distribution between mice and rat was evaluated. Sural mechanical sensitivity after transection of the MPN or whole tibial nerve was assessed using von Frey test until 8 weeks after surgery in 48 rats and 16 mice.

RESULTS: The bifurcation of the tibial nerve into the MPN and LPN is situated proximal to the ankle in both mice and rats. The sural nerve joins the LPN in mice, but not in rats. A proximal communicating branch is present between the LPN and MPN in rats, but not in mice. MPN transection in mice caused hypersensitivity of the hindpaw innervated by the sural nerve, but not in rats. In rats, sural hypersensitivity only developed when both MPN and LPN were cut.

CONCLUSION: Inter-species variation in nerve anatomy should be taken in consideration when performing surgery to induce plantar hypersensitivity in rodents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152038
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Anatomy
Volume246
Early online date24 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • Anatomy
  • Experimental
  • Injury
  • Nerve
  • Pain
  • Sural
  • Tibial

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