OBJECTIVES: Exposing a hind leg of a rat to vibration induces an injury to the sciatic nerve--a so called conditioning lesion. After such injury induced by vibration the regenerative capacity of the nerve is improved and can be detected as an increased axonal outgrowth from a test crush lesion to the same nerve. The purpose was to study whether the effect of a conditioning lesion induced by vibration can be prevented by local treatment with a Ca2+ channel blocker D600. METHODS: D600 (methoxyverapamil) or Ringer's solution was locally applied to the sciatic nerve on one side through a silicone tube connected to a miniosmotic pump, which was implanted subcutaneously. During the same period the hind leg was exposed to vibration (80 Hz; 32 m/s2 root mean squared) for five hours daily for five consecutive days. The other hind leg was not vibrated. After the end of exposure to vibration the sciatic nerves were crushed bilaterally (test crush lesions) and three or six days later the regeneration distances of sensory axons were measured by the pinch reflex test. RESULTS: Nerves in the control animals (without implanted miniosmotic pumps and nerves on to which Ringer's solution was locally applied) that were exposed to vibration showed a significantly increased outgrowth length of sensory axons from the test crush lesion compared with the non-vibrated side. Such an effect of a conditioning lesion from the exposure to vibration was suppressed by local application of D600. CONCLUSIONS: Local administration of a Ca2+ channel blocker D600 can prevent the effect of a conditioning lesion-that is, the nerve injury induced by vibration can be inhibited by D600. This may have implications for the treatment of patients with neuropathy of the hand induced by vibration.
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