Ischemic reperfusion causes lipid peroxidation and fiber degeneration

Masaaki Nagamatsu, James D. Schmelzer, Paula J. Zollman, Inge L. Smithson, Kim K. Nickander, Phillip A. Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Although the neuropathology of ischemic fiber degeneration (IFD) is relatively well known, its pathogenesis is poorly understood. One putative mechanism of IFD is oxidative stress, causing a breakdown of the blood-nerve barrier (BNB) and lipid peroxidation. We evaluated the effect of ischemic reperfusion of rat sciatic-tibial nerve seeking biochemical and pathologic evidence of BNB disruption and lipid peroxidation. Ischemia, caused by the ligation of the supplying arteries to sciatic-tibial nerve, was maintained for 3 h, followed by reperfusion. Reperfusion resulted in an increase in nerve lipid hydroperoxides, greatest at 3 h, followed by a gradual decline over the next month. Nerve edema and IFD consistently became more severe with reperfusion, indicating that oxidative stress impairs the BNB (edema) and causes IFD. Reduced reperfusion was greatest over distal sciatic nerve and midtibial nerve at day 7. The most ischemic segment (midtibial), of nonreperfused ischemic nerves (duration 3 h), underwent both edema and IFD that was as pronounced as those of other segments after reperfusion, and underwent a smaller increase with reperfusion, suggesting that ischemia alone can also cause IFD and edema. The type of fiber degeneration was that of axonal degeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-47
Number of pages11
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1996


  • ischemia
  • neuropathy
  • oxygen free radical
  • rat
  • reperfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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