MOLECULAR BIOLOGYVascularized peripheral nerve grafting promotes myelination of regrowing optic nerveKomatsu, Seijia; Wakabayashi, Taketoshic; Yamada, Kiyoshia; Matsumoto, Kumikoa; Kimata, Yoshihiroa; Kosaka, Junb Author Information Departments of aPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery bCytology and Histology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama cDepartment of Anatomy and Cell Science, Kansai Medical University, Hirakata, Japan Correspondence to Jun Kosaka, MD, DSci, Department of Cytology and Histology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-8558, Japan Tel: +81 86 235 7085; fax: +81 86 235 7079; e-mail: [email protected] Received January 23, 2013 Accepted April 17, 2013 NeuroReport: July 10, 2013 - Volume 24 - Issue 10 - p 566-571 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3283625b39 Buy Metrics Abstract We investigated whether the use of vascularized peripheral nerve grafts on the optic nerve stump enhances axonal regeneration of retinal ganglion cells compared with isolated nonvascularized grafts. The rat median nerve was microsurgically sutured with its supplying artery and vein to the optic nerve stump. The number of retinal ganglion cells with regenerating axons was evaluated by retrograde labeling into the grafted peripheral nerve, and the myelination of the regenerating axon fibers was examined by electron microscopy. The number of retinal ganglion cells with regenerating axons was significantly higher in the vascularized graft than in the nonvascularized graft. The ratio of myelinated axon fibers was also increased in vascularized grafts. Thus, grafting with their supplying arteries and veins to an injured nerve stump represents a promising strategy to accelerate axonal regeneration from neurons of the central nervous system. © 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.