Supporting Literature

TOPIC:   Electrical Stimulation of Denervated Muscle Inhibits Motor Recovery

1)  Ann Anat. 2009 Oct;191(4):356-70. Epub 2009 May 13.

Electrical stimulation of paralyzed vibrissal muscles reduces endplate reinnervation and does not promote motor recovery after facial nerve repair in rats.

Sinis N, Horn F, Genchev B, Skouras E, Merkel D, Angelova SK, Kaidoglou K, Michael J, Pavlov S, Igelmund P, Schaller HE, Irintchev A, Dunlop SA, Angelov DN.

Department of Hand-, Plastic-, and Reconstructive Surgery with Burn Unit, BG-Trauma Centre, University of Tuebingen, Germany.


The outcome of peripheral nerve injuries requiring surgical repair is poor. Recent work has suggested that electrical stimulation (ES) of denervated muscles could be beneficial. Here we tested whether ES has a positive influence on functional recovery after injury and surgical repair of the facial nerve. Outcomes at 2 months were compared to animals receiving sham stimulation (SS). Starting on the first day after end-to-end suture (facial-facial anastomosis), electrical stimulation (square 0.1 ms pulses at 5 Hz at an ex tempore established threshold amplitude of between 3.0 and 5.0V) was delivered to the vibrissal muscles for 5 min a day, 3 times a week. Restoration of vibrissal motor performance following ES or SS was evaluated using the video-based motion analysis and correlated with the degree of collateral axonal branching at the lesion site, the number of motor endplates in the target musculature and the quality of their reinnervation, i.e. the degree of mono- versus poly-innervation. Neither protocol reduced collateral branching. ES did not improve functional outcome, but rather reduced the number of innervated motor endplates to approximately one-fifth of normal values and failed to reduce the proportion of poly-innervated motor endplates. We conclude that ES is not beneficial for recovery of whisker function after facial nerve repair in rats.

PMID: 19481914


2)  Science. 1986 Jun 27;232(4758):1638-40.

Suppression of neurite elongation and growth cone motility by electrical activity.

Cohan CS, Kater SB.


Electrical activity may regulate a number of neuronal functions in addition to its role in transmitting signals along nerve cells. The hypothesis that electrical activity affects neurite elongation in sprouting neurons was tested by stimulating individual snail neurons isolated in cell culture. The findings demonstrated that growth cone advance, and thus neurite elongation, is reversibly stopped during periods when action potentials are experimentally evoked. A decrease in filopodial number and growth cone area was also observed. Thus, action potentials can mediate the cessation of neurite outgrowth and thereby may influence structure and connectivity within the nervous system.

PMID:  3715470