To study the effects and potential control mechanisms of the agrin signaling pathway on the repair of distal sciatic nerve damage.
50 Sprague-Dawleyrats were randomly allocated into the control group (SCI group, n = 25) and the treatment group (Treat group, n = 25). In both groups, the sciatic nerve damage model was created. Following surgery, the SCI group and the Treat group received intragastric administrations of normal saline and Jiawei Buyang Huanwu Decoction, respectively. The dose for both groups was 2mL/(kg·d) for 12 consecutive weeks. At 4, 8, and 12 weeks post-surgery, the wet-to-weight ratio of the gastrocnemius muscle in the two groups was assessed; and hematoxylin-eosin staining and Masson staining were used to detect pathological alterations in the sciatic nerve and collagen. The expression of agrin, Dag1, Dmd, and Lamb2 proteins in the agrin pathway, as well as ERK, MEK, and their corresponding phosphorylated proteins, p-ERK and p-MEK, were all detected by Western blot in the gastrocnemius muscle.
The wet weight of the gastrocnemius muscle in the Treat group increased considerably (p < 0.05) after 4, 8, and 12 weeks following the operation compared to the SCI group, and it continued to rise over time. The expression level of Dag1, Dmd, and Lamb2 protein in agrin pathway, as well as p-ERK and p-MEK protein were all significantly lower than they were in the SCI group (p < 0.05). Additionally, Jiawei Buyang Huanwu Decoction greatly reduced the amount of nerve scars at the sciatic nerve injury and significantly healed sciatic neuropathy according to the results of pathological staining.
Jiawei Buyang Huanwu Decoction can inhibit the expression of agrin, Dag1, Dmd, and Lamb2, as well as p-ERK and p-MEK. It can effectively promote the distal repair of sciatic nerve injury probably through argin pathway.