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Growth-promoting activity of Hominis Placenta extract on regenerating sciatic nerve

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Aim: Extract of Hominis Placenta (HP) has been used in oriental medicine as an agent for improving physiological function. The present study was conducted to investigate whether HP treatment in an experimental sciatic nerve injury animal model produces growth-promoting effects on regenerating peripheral nerve fibers after injury. Methods: After HP was injected into a sciatic nerve injury site, changes in protein levels were analyzed in the regenerating nerve area by Western blotting and immunofluorescence staining analyses. For quantitative assessment of axonal regeneration, a retrograde tracing technique was used to identify the neuronal cell bodies corresponding to regenerating axons, and the extent of neurite outgrowth in cultured dorsal root ganglia (DRG) sensory neurons prepared from animals that had experienced a sciatic nerve crush injury 7 d before neuron collection was analyzed. Results: Induction levels of axonal growth-associated protein (GAP-43) in the injured sciatic nerves were elevated by HP treatment. HP treatment also upregulated cell division cycle 2 (Cdc2) protein levels in the distal stump of the injured sciatic nerve. Induced Cdc2 protein was detected in Schwann cells, suggesting that Cdc2 kinase activity maybe involved in the growth-promoting activity of regenerating axons via Schwann cell proliferation. Cell body measurement by retrograde tracing indicated that HP treatment produced significant increases in regenerating motor axons. Finally, HP treatment of cultured DRG sensory neurons significantly increased neurite arborization and elongation. Conclusion: HP promotes the regeneration of injured sciatic axons by upregulating the synthesis of regeneration-related protein factors such as GAP-43 and Cdc2.
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Keywords: Cyclin-depend kinase 2; GAP-43 protein; axonal regeneration; hominis placenta; sciatic nerve

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon University, Daejeon 300-716, Korea 2: Department of Sports and Leisure Studies, Han Nam University, Daejeon 300-791, Korea 3: Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 301-130, Korea 4: Department of Oriental Medical Materials and Processing, Kyung-Hee University, Suwon 449-701, Korea

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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