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Peripheral nerve injuries lead to the loss of motor, sensory and autonomic functions in the territories supplied by the injured nerve. Currently, nerve injuries are managed by surgical repair procedures, and there are no effective drugs in the clinic for improving the capacity of axonal regeneration. Sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R) is an endoplasmic reticulum chaperon protein involved in many functions, including neuroprotection and neuroplasticity. A few previous studies using Sig-1R ligands reported results that suggest this receptor as a putative target to enhance regeneration. The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible effects of Sig-1R ligands on axonal regeneration in a sciatic nerve section and repair model in mice. To this end, mice were treated either with the Sig-1R agonist PRE-084 or the antagonist BD1063, and a Sig-1R knock-out (KO) mice group was also studied. The electrophysiological and histological data showed that treatment with Sig-1R ligands, or the lack of this protein, did not markedly modify the process of axonal regeneration and target reinnervation after sciatic nerve injury. Nevertheless, the nociceptive tests provided results indicating a role of Sig-1R in sensory perception after nerve injury, and immunohistochemical labeling indicated a regulatory role in inflammatory cell infiltration in the injured nerve.


Patrick Cottilli, Núria Gaja-Capdevila, Xavier Navarro. Effects of Sigma-1 Receptor Ligands on Peripheral Nerve Regeneration. Cells. 2022 Mar 23;11(7)

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PMID: 35406646

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