Synovial cytokines impair the function of the sciatic nerve in rats: A possible element in the pathophysiology of radicular syndromes

P. Wehling, G. Bandara, C. H. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Cytokines of rabbit synovial origin were injected into 6 rats under the epineurium of the sciatic nerve. Five controls were injected with similar preparations lacking cytokines. After injection, rats were examined for a period of 7 days. For neurophysiological evaluation the tibial branch of the sciatic nerve was stimulated with supramaximal voltage impulses of constant duration. The responses were recorded at the dorsal root entry zone L1. F-wave latencies were recorded at the distal hind paw after stimulation of the tibial nerve. Filters were set at LF: 20 Hz, HF: 10 kHz. Synovial cytokines caused a significant decrease in amplitude and increase in latencies of the recorded nerve potentials. Our results indicate that interleukin-1, which is a major component of the synovial cytokine preparation, could play an important role in degenerative spine disease through a damaging effect on nerve function. This action would explain why radiculopathy and pain can develop without signs of nerve compression. The results are also relevant to patients suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-59
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neuroscience(all)

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