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Effects of swimming exercise on nerve regeneration in a rat sciatic nerve transection model.

Biomedicine (Taipei); 7(1): 3, 2017 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28474579


Swimming is commonly considered to be an efficient rehabilitation exercise to treat peripheral nerve injury. However, the most effective resistance level and exercise duration is still unclear. We investigated the effects and mechanisms of swimming at various exertion levels in a rat sciatic nerve transection model.


Sciatic nerve transection rats were randomized into the following four groups based on swimming duration (from the 7th day to the 28th day post-surgery): sedentary control group (SC), S10 group (10 min/3 times/week), S20 group (20 min/3 times/week), and S30 group (30 min/3 times/week) (n = 10 each). Axon regeneration, electrophysiological properties, muscular weights, macrophage infiltration, and nerve repair associated maker, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), were measured.


Dramatic higher successful percentages of nerve regeneration across the 10-mm gaps in swimming groups compared to the SC group. Total area of nerve regeneration significantly improved in the S10 group; however, electrophysiological properties, muscular weights, and macrophage infiltration in the regenerated nerves of rats did not differ significantly between the various exercise groups. CGRP expression was significantly increased in the spinal cord of rats in the S20 group.


Our data indicated that CGRP-related axonal regeneration improved significantly with moderate swimming. These results should inspire new studies in physiotherapeutic practice for related human treatment.