Microscopic and electrophysiological changes on regenerating sciatic nerves of rats treated with simvastatin

Daglioglu E., BERKER M. , Demirci M. , Tuncel M., KARABULUT E. , Erbengi A.

FOLIA NEUROPATHOLOGICA, vol.48, no.1, pp.49-56, 2010 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Page Numbers: pp.49-56


Simvastatin is a hypocholesterolemic agent presumed to cause peripheral neuropathy. We arranged an experimental design which focuses on the effect of simvastatin on peripheral nerves and neural regeneration. Sciatic nerve injury was performed at midthigh region of male wistar rats either by clamp compression or fine cut. Electrophysiological and electron microscopical studies were carried out to assess the effect of simvastatin on peripheral nerve and nerve regeneration. There was no difference between the groups that were given simvastatin and standard regimen in the sciatic nerve when electrophysiological measurements were concerned. However, some of the rats that were given simvastatin show reduction in axoplasm density (intensity) of myelinated nerve fibers and prominent vacuolization of myelin sheath according to light and electron microscopic studies. Sciatic nerve compound muscle activation potential measurements of the animals given simvastatin showed that this drug doesn't have a delaying effect on the peripheral nerve recovery time. Electrophysiological measurements showed that simvastatin did not influence nerve regeneration however it was found to induce severe vacuolization of myelin sheath of the sciatic nerve. It was apparent that the drug induces some form of structural dysfunction as myelin changes supported by electron microscopical studies. Conclusion: simvastatin was shown to delay regeneration as shown in microscopic studies but still there was no influence on nerve regeneration.