Effects of electrical stimulation on rat limb regeneration, a new look at an old model

  • Limb loss is a devastating disability and while current treatments provide aesthetic and functional restoration, they are associated with complications and risks. The optimal solution would be to harness the body's regenerative capabilities to regrow new limbs. Several methods have been tried to regrow limbs in mammals, but none have succeeded. One such attempt, in the early 1970s, used electrical stimulation and demonstrated partial limb regeneration. Several researchers reproduced these findings, applying low voltage DC electrical stimulation to the stumps of amputated rat forelimbs reporting "blastema, and new bone, bone marrow, cartilage, nerve, skin, muscle and epiphyseal plate formation". In spite of these encouraging results this research was discontinued. Recently there has been renewed interest in studying electrical stimulation, primarily at a cellular and subcellular level, and studies have demonstrated changes in stem cell behavior with increased proliferation, differentiation, matrix formation and migration, all important in tissue regeneration. We applied electrical stimulation, in vivo, to the stumps of amputated rat limbs and observed significant new bone, cartilage and vessel formation and prevention of neuroma formation. These findings demonstrate that electricity stimulates tissue regeneration and form the basis for further research leading to possible new treatments for regenerating limbs.

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Author:Liudmila LeppikORCiDGND, Dara Froemel, Andrei Slavici, Zachri N. Ovadia, Lukasz HudakGND, Dirk HenrichORCiDGND, Ingo MarziORCiDGND, John Howard BarkerORCiD
Pubmed Id:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26678416
Parent Title (English):Scientific reports
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Place of publication:Berlin ; Heidelberg ; New York ; Hong Kong ; London ; Milan ; Paris ; Tokyo
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2016/11/11
Date of first Publication:2015/12/17
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2016/11/11
Issue:Nr. 18353
Page Number:9
First Page:1
Last Page:9
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0