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Histological characteristics of botulinum neurotoxin-A on rat skeletal muscles

El Deeb, Ali E.a; El Bakary, Redab; Abd-El-Hafez, Amal A.A.b

Egyptian Journal of Histology: June 2014 - Volume 37 - Issue 2 - p 393–401
doi: 10.1097/
Original articles

Introduction Botulinum neurotoxins-A (BT-A) are bacterial enzymes that block neurotransmitter release. BT-A is widely used to treat spasticity and dystonias, and also in pharmacocosmetic and in the management of various types of pain.

Aim of the work It is therefore important to clarify the histological characteristics involved in muscular tissue postinjection and to reconcile its injection for cosmoses under scope.

Materials and methods Fifteen adult albino rats were used in this study and divided into three groups (five rats each). Group I served as negative control; groups II and III were injected into the right gastrocnemius muscle with BT-A in addition to saline into the left side to serve as positive control. Muscle harvest was examined by LM, EM, and morphometry at 28th day for group II with two rats of group I and at 56th day for group III with three rats of group I.

Results Histological examination revealed neurogenic atrophy, target fiber change, hypertrophied fibers, and dilated aggregates of the sarcotubular system.

Conclusion Neurogenic muscle atrophy following a single BT-A injection should be taken into consideration when repeated BT-A injections into the same muscle are needed.

aDepartments of Physical Medicine, Reumatology & Rehabilitation

bHistology, Tanta, Egypt and Histology Department, faculty of Medicine, Tanta university, Tanta, Egypt

Correspondence to Amal A.A. Abd-El-Hafez, Histology, Tanta, Egypt Tel: +20 403 357 557; fax: +0020403339604; e-mail:

Received November 19, 2013

Accepted March 31, 2014

© 2014 The Egyptian Journal of Histology