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Acta Cirurgica Brasileira

versão On-line ISSN 1678-2674

Acta Cir. Bras. vol.27 no.11 São Paulo nov. 2012

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-86502012001100001 

1 - ORIGINAL ARTICLE
MODELS, BIOLOGICAL

 

Quantitative histological analysis of the mandibular branch of the facial nerve in rats1

 

Análise histológica quantitativa do ramo mandibular do nervo facial em ratos

 

 

Heloisa Juliana Zabeu Rossi CostaI; Raquel SalomoneII; Ciro Ferreira da SilvaIII; Márcio Paulino CostaIV; Beatriz Lucchetta RamosV; Ricardo Ferreira BentoVI

IPhD, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, USP, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Conception, design, acquisition and interpretation of data, manuscript writing
IIFellow PhD degree, Department of Otolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, USP, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Acquisition and interpretation of data
IIIFull Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, USP, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Critical revision
IVAssociate Professor, Plastic Surgery Division, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, USP, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Acquisition and interpretation of data, critical revision
VMD, Resident, Department of Otolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, USP, Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Acquisition of data
VIChairman and Head, Department of Otolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, USP, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Critical revision, final approval of the manuscript

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To establish a model to quantitative histological analysis of the mandibular branch of the facial nerve in rats.
METHODS: Eleven Wistar rats had their right and left mandibular branches of the facial nerve surgically removed and were sacrificed afterwards. Quantitative histological analysis was performed with: a) partial number of axons; b) partial area of the transversal cut of the nerve (9000μm2); c) partial density. The averages of partial density were obtained. The statistical study was established by Wilcoxon test (p=0.05).
RESULTS: In relation to density of axons, comparison between sides shows no statistically significant difference (p=0.248; p=0.533). Mean partial density of distal and proximal samples was, respectively, 0.18 ± 0.02 and 0.19 ± 0.02 axons/μm2.  Comparison between proximal and distal samples shows no statistically significant difference (p=0.859; p=0.182).
CONCLUSION: This study has successfully established a model to histological quantitative analysis of the mandibular branch of the facial nerve in rats.

Key words: Facial Nerve. Histology. Rats.


RESUMO

OBJETIVO: Estabelecer um modelo para análise histológica quantitativa do ramo mandibular do nervo facial de ratos.
MÉTODOS: Onze ratos Wistar tiveram os ramos mandibulares de seus nervos faciais direito e esquerdo removidos cirurgicamente, e submetidos à análise histológica quantitativa de suas regiões proximal e distal com: a) contagem total do número de axônios, b) medida da área parcial (9000μm2) de corte transversal do nervo, c) cálculo de densidade parcial (DP).
RESULTADOS: Em relação à densidade dos axônios, a comparação entre os lados não mostrou diferença estatisticamente significativa (p=0,248; p=0,533). A densidade parcial média das amostras distais e proximais foi, respectivamente, 0,18 ± 0,02 e 0,19 ± 0,02 axônios/μm2.  A comparação entre as amostras proximais e distais não mostrou diferença estatisticamente significativa (p=0,859; p=0,182).
CONCLUSÃO: Este estudo estabeleceu com sucesso um modelo de análise histológica quantitativa do ramo mandibular do nervo facial em ratos.

Descritores: Nervo Facial. Histologia. Ratos.


 

 

Introduction

Peripheral facial palsy caused by trauma is a very common disease. Permanent search for techniques of repair that improve nerve regeneration stimulated the creation of different types of experimental models with many specimens of animals1-3.

The mandibular branch of the facial nerve of rats is an excellent material to study diseases caused by trauma and reparation of the facial nerve as it has a long length with no ramification4, allowing then reparation by using grafts and also giving the possibility to make objective functional study through electromyography. Quantitative histological analysis has been frequently used to quantify regenerated axons and to give an anatomic estimate of nerve regeneration's degree5-8. It is directly related to function, because it's known that more number of regenerated myelinated fibers leads to better conduction velocity9.

There is no description in literature about axons counting of the mandibular branch of the facial nerve in rats, justifying the development of this experimental model.

 

Methods

The study was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee for research in animals. The use of laboratory animals follow the Council for International Organization of Medical Sciences ethical code for animal experimentation.

A total of 11 adult male Wistar rats with a mean weight of 250g (ranging from 200 to 300g) were studied.

The rats anesthetized with xylazine hydrochloride (3mg/Kg) and ketamine hydrochloride (80mg/kg) by intraperitoneal injection. Right and left mandibular branches of facial nerve were exposed and removed after fixation. The animals were sacrificed at random (with an intracardiac injection of potassium chloride) for the histological study of the injured facial nerves. The fixation of the facial nerve was carried out in situ before sacrificing the animal, by using 2% glutaraldehyde and 1% paraformaldehyde with sodium phosphate buffer (0.1M, pH 7.3). The distal end of the distal and proximal fragments was identified through a diagonal cut and the proximal end was cut transversely for histological analysis. The proximal ends of proximal and distal fragments were situated at, respectively, 28 and 24mm from labial comissure. The specimens were then treated with 2% osmium and dehydrated with ethanol, followed by infiltration with propylene oxide and inclusion with Epoxi® resin (Burlington – Vermont - USA) until polymerization. Transverse 1 mm sections were made and stained with 1% toluidine blue.

Histological observations were carried out using light microscopy (Nikon Eclipse E 600 - Nikon - Japan). The histological slides were photographed with a digital camera (Nikon Coolpix E 955 - Nikon - Japan), recorded in a CD and transferred to a PC for cell count using Sigma Scan Pro 5.0 software (SPSS Science – USA).

A quantitative histological analysis was carried out dividing the number of axons by an area of 9000μm2 to establish axon density.

Results pertaining to the nerve density were submitted to statistical analysis comparisons using the Wilcoxon test with a significant p value established as less or equal to 0.05.

 

Results

Figure 1 represents the mandibular branch of the rat facial nerve and Figure 2 illustrates a histological section of a rat facial nerve.

 

 

 

On comparing groups regarding density of axons (axons/μm2), in Table 1, according to Wilcoxon test comparison between sides shows no statistically significant difference between groups (p=0.248; p=0.533). Table 2 describes data without considering sides.

 

 

 

Tables 1, 2 and 3 are related to morphometric neural data of the studied nerves.

 

 

In Table 3, that compares proximal and distal samples, there was no statistically significant difference between groups (p=0.859; p=0.182) by Wilcoxon test.

 

Discussion

Quantitative study of the mandibular branch of the facial nerve in rats was performed by the analysis of the density of axons by mm2, comparing densities of number of axons in a defined partial area. In agreement with most authors, this study opted for the analysis of density (number of myelinated axons) in relation to neural area and not axonal area9,10.

Sampling methods have been used to count neural fibers5-12 the samples of this work corresponded to almost 90% of the total area of the nerves, which was more than sufficient to obtain accuracy of the method12.

Left and right sides were compared in these normal nerves, and as it wasn't any statistical difference, they were considered as same side. Therefore, casuistic was doubled to obtain a histological pattern of mandibular branch of the facial nerve in rats.

As it was mentioned above, there are no papers in literature describing number of axons of rat's facial nerve mandibular branch to liken to this one.

Distal and proximal analyses were made to correlate the number of axons in different segments of the same nerve. It will make possible the comparison with injured nerves submitted to different types of surgical repair.

 

Conclusion

This study has successfully established a model for histological quantitative analysis of the mandibular branch of the facial nerve in rats.

 

References

1. Bento RF, Miniti A. Comparison between fibrin tissue adhesive, epineural suture and natural union in intratemporal facial nerve of cats. Acta Otolaryngol Suppl. 1989;465:1-36.         [ Links ]

2. Spector JG, Lee P, Derby A, Friedrich GE, Neises G, Roufa DG. Rabbit facial nerve regeneration in NGF-containing silastic tubes. Laryngoscope. 1993;103:548-58.         [ Links ]

3. Farrag TY, Lehar M, Verhaegen P, Carson K, Byrne P. Effect of platelet rich plasma and fibrinant sealant on facial nerve regeneration in a rat model. Laryngoscope. 2007;117(1):157-65.         [ Links ]

4. Mattox D, Felix H. Surgical anatomy of the rat facial nerve. Am J Otol. 1987;8:43-7.         [ Links ]

5. Costa HJZR, Silva CF, Korn GP, Lazarini PR. Posttraumatic facial nerve regeneration in rabbits. Rev Bras Otorrinolaringol. 2006;72(6):786-93.         [ Links ]

6. Costa MP, Cunha AS, Silva CF, Barros Filho TEP; Ferreira MC. Use of polyglicolic acid tube associated with FK506 in regeneration of peripheral nerves. Acta Ortop Bras. 2006;14(1):25-9.         [ Links ]

7. Costa HJZR, Silva CF, Costa MP, Lazarini P. Evaluation of the systemic use of riluzole in post-traumatic facial nerve regeneration: experimental study in rabbits. Acta Otolaryngol. 2007;17:1-4.         [ Links ]

8. Costa MP, Cunha AS, Silva CF, Barros Filho TEP, Costa HJZR, Ferreira MC. Polyglycolic acid tube associated with GM1 in regeneration of peripheral nerves. Acta Ortop Bras. 2009;17(5):286-90.         [ Links ]

9. Lewin SL, Utley DS, Cheng ET, Verity NA, Terris DJ. Simultaneous treatment with BDNF and CNTF after peripheral nerve transection and repair enhances rate of functional recovery compared with BDNF treatment alone. Laryngoscope. 1997;107:992-9.         [ Links ]

10. Spector JG, Lee P, Derby A. Rabbit facial nerve regeneration in autologous nerve grafts after antecedent injury. Laryngoscope. 2000;110:660-7.         [ Links ]

11. Zemp C, Bestetti G, Rossi GL. Morphologycal and morphometric study of peripheral nerves from rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus. Acta Neurophatol. 1981;53:99-106.         [ Links ]

12. Eschweiler GW, Bähr M. Flunarizine enhances rat retinal ganglion cell survival after axotomy. J Neurol Sci. 1993;116:34-40.         [ Links ]

 

 

Correspondence:
Heloisa Juliana Zabeu Rossi Costa
Rua Gabriel dos Santos, 759/12º andar
01231-011  São Paulo – SP  Brasil
Tel./Fax: (55 11)3825-5946/9964-1683
heloisarossic@hotmail.com

Received: June 20, 2012
Review: August 22, 2012
Accepted: September 21, 2012
Conflict of interest: none
Financial source: Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP: grant#2008/00972-4)

 

 

1 Research performed at LIM 32(Otolaryngology Laboratory), School of Medicine and Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Biological Sciences Institute, University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil.

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