Acidity is involved in the development of neuropathy caused by oxidized cellulose

Masaaki Nagamatsu, Jewel Podratz, Anthony J. Windebank, Phillip A. Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Recently we demonstrated that oxidized cellulose (OC), a surgical topical hemostatic agent, induces subjacent nerve fiber degeneration by a diffusible chemical mechanism. Since OC is highly acidic, we examined the role of acidity in the development of neuropathy by OC in this study. Fifteen minutes' exposure to culture media containing OC (2 mg/ml, pH 3.47 or 10 mg/ml, pH 2.57) suppressed the subsequent neurite outgrowth of precultured rat DRG neurons in vitro. However, the neurotoxicity of OC disappeared when the pH of the media was restored to 7.42. Topical application of 20 mg OC lowered the pH in the subperineurium of the adjacent rat sciatic nerve to around 3, and kept it below 4 for 2 h in vivo. Application of 0.1 ml neutralized physiological saline containing 40 mg OC did not produce pathological changes in the adjacent rat sciatic nerve in vivo, in contrast to the marked subperineurial nerve damage by direct application of 20 or 40 mg OC observed in our previous study. These results strongly indicate that local neurotoxicity of OC is due to its high acidity. Further care is needed to avoid direct application of large amounts of OC to peripheral nerve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-102
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the neurological sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 10 1997


  • dorsal root ganglia
  • hydrogen-ion concentration
  • hydrogen-ion microelectrode
  • neuropathy
  • oxidized cellulose
  • rat
  • sciatic nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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