Original Article

Diosgenin improves functional recovery from sciatic crushed nerve injury in rats


Byung-Ki Lee, Chang-Ju Kim, Mal-Soon Shin, Young Sam Cho

한국운동재활학회 JER Vol.14 No.4 2018.08 pp.566-572
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Peripheral nerve injuries are commonly encountered clinical problem and often result in chronic pain and severe functional deficit. Diosgenin is a plant steroidal saponin and has anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. In the present study, we investigated the effect of diosgenin on functional recovery following sciatic crushed nerve injury in rats. Walk-ing track analysis for the functional recovery which can be quantified with the sciatic function index (SFI) was conducted. Immunohistochem-istry for c-Fos in the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG) and paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and western blot for brain-derived neu-rotrophic factor (BDNF), tyrosine kinase B (TrkB), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and inducible nitric oxide synthesis (iNOS) in the sciatic nerve were performed. The right sciatic nerve was crushed for 30 sec using a surgical clip. The animals in the diosgenin-treated groups received oral-ly once a day at the respective doses for 7 consecutive days, starting one day after surgery. Sciatic crushed nerve injury showed character-istic gait changes showing decrease of SFI value. Diosgenin treatment increased the SFI value and suppressed nerve injury-induced c-Fos ex-pression in the vlPAG and PVN. Diosgenin treatment inhibited nerve in-jury-induced increase of BDNF, TrkB, COX-2, and iNOS expressions. It is possible that diosgenin can be used as the new therapeutic agent for pain control and functional recovery following peripheral nerve injury.


  Animals and treatments
  Surgical procedure
  Walking tract analysis
  Tissue preparation
  c-Fos immunohistochemistry
  Western blot analysis
  Data analyses
  SFI following sciatic crushed nerve injury
  c-Fos expression in the vlPAG following sciatic crushed nerve injury
  c-Fos expression in the PVN following sciatic crushed nerve injury
  BDNF and TrkB expressions in the sciatic nerve following sciatic crushed nerve injury
  COX-2 and iNOS expressions in the sciatic nerve following sciatic crushed nerve injury


  • Byung-Ki Lee Department of Physical Therapy, Daewon University College, Jecheon, Korea
  • Chang-Ju Kim Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea
  • Mal-Soon Shin School of Global Sport Studies, Korea University, Sejong, Korea
  • Young Sam Cho Department of Urology, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


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