Peripheral nerve injury leads to disruption of the nerve and interruption of impulse transmission. However, if the perineurium surrounding the lesion is preserved, axonal regeneration following degeneration of the distal stump, a process named Wallerian degeneration, is possible. Participation of Schwann cells in myelin debris removal is an important step because axonal growth inhibitors are found in myelin. Additionally, tissue clearance is largely improved by macrophages and other infiltrating immune cells. In view of the role of the immune system in nerve regenerative process, we will boost the immune response by administrating the granulocyte and macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in mice that were previously submitted to sciatic nerve crushing. In this way, we aim at increasing production and influx of monocytes in the lesion area and thus accelerate the regenerative process. By histological approaches, we will evaluate the presence of macrophages in the nerve as well as its current regenerative stage, via axonal markers and growth associated protein imunolabelling. Motor recovery will also be followed up. We believe that this study will bring new perspectives regarding immune system interventions in the peripheral nerve regenerative process.
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