Muscle-nerve-muscle neurotization for the reinnervation of denervated somatic muscle

Urbanchek M., Ganz D., Aydin M., van der Meulen J., Kuzon W.

NEUROLOGICAL RESEARCH, vol.26, no.4, pp.388-394, 2004 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Doi Number: 10.1179/016164104225013824
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.388-394


Muscle-Nerve-Muscle (MNM) is the reinnervation of a denervated (recipient) muscle via a nerve graft inserted into the belly of an innervated (donor) muscle. MNM is studied for the reinnervation of intrinsic denervated somatic skeletal muscle by evaluating both restored muscle contractile ability and innervation state. In a rat model, muscle function is tested following MNM neurotization from an innervated (donor), extensor digitorum longus muscle to a denervated (recipient), peroneus digit quinti (PDQ) muscle. PDQ muscle cross-sections labeled for neural cell adhesion molecule protein (NCAM), a marker for fiber denervation. MNM neurotization results in the recovery of PDQ muscle force generating capacity (58% of Normal-control) and a significantly lower percentage of residual muscle fiber denervation (38% denervated) compared with the Denervated-control (79% denervated) group. MNM neurotization reinnervates 62% of the previously denervated muscle fibers in the PDQ muscle. No decrement in force capacity is observed in the donor EDL muscle. Nerve grafting for MNM neurotization may restore modest contractile function to denervated muscle and reinnervate relatively more denervated muscle fibers than the Denervated-control.