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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2009, Article ID 408794, 11 pages
Research Article

Schwann Cells Overexpressing FGF-2 Alone or Combined with Manual Stimulation Do Not Promote Functional Recovery after Facial Nerve Injury

1Institute of Neuroanatomy, Hannover Medical School and Center for Systems Neuroscience (ZSN), 30625 Hannover, Germany
2Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Cologne, 50931 Cologne, Germany
3Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, 07740 Jena, Germany
4Department of Trauma, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Cologne, 50931, Germany
5Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Cologne, 50931 Cologne, Germany
6School of Animal Biology, Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Perth, WA 6009, Australia
7Department of Anatomy I, University of Cologne, 50931, Germany

Received 25 February 2009; Accepted 8 July 2009

Academic Editor: George Perry

Copyright © 2009 Kirsten Haastert et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To determine whether transplantation of Schwann cells (SCs) overexpressing different isoforms of fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) combined with manual stimulation (MS) of vibrissal muscles improves recovery after facial nerve transection in adult rat. Procedures. Transected facial nerves were entubulated with collagen alone or collagen plus naïve SCs or transfected SCs. Half of the rats received daily MS. Collateral branching was quantified from motoneuron counts after retrograde labeling from 3 facial nerve branches. Quality assessment of endplate reinnervation was combined with video-based vibrissal function analysis. Results. There was no difference in the extent of collateral axonal branching. The proportion of polyinnervated motor endplates for either naïve SCs or FGF-2 over-expressing SCs was identical. Postoperative MS also failed to improve recovery. Conclusions. Neither FGF-2 isoform changed the extent of collateral branching or polyinnervation of motor endplates; furthermore, this motoneuron response could not be overridden by MS.