Hind limb sensory innervation in rats: Comparison between sural and saphenous nerve morphometry.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Letícia Oliveira Neri; Milena Menezes de Amorim; Stella Andrade Rodrigues Campos; Luciana Sayuri Sanada & Valéria Paula Sassoli Fazan


Although numerous studies investigate sensory recovery of the hind paw of the rat after nerve damage, still no comprehensive overview of its normal innervation is present in the literature. We investigated the morphometry of myelinated fibers in the sural and saphenous nerves and analyzed their size distributions in young rats. Six 30-day-old female Wistar rats were perfused with 2.5% glutaraldehyde and their right and left sural and saphenous nerves were prepared for light microscopy and morphometry. Morphometric data were compared between segments (proximal versus distal) and sides (right versus left) for the same nerves. Also, segments from right or left sides were compared between nerves (sural versus saphenous). Both, the sural and saphenous nerves, exhibited proximal to distal symmetry on both sides as well as left-right symmetry. Histograms of the diameter of the myelinated fibers were unimodal in both nerves, regardless of segments or sides with the peaks of the fibers size occurring between 2.5 and 4.0 μm. The axon distributions reflected the myelinated fiber distributions, with the sural and saphenous nerves peaking between 1.5 and 2.0 μm. The G ratio (the ratio between the axon and fiber diameters) distributions were also unimodal, with peaks at 0.6 for both nerves. This study contributes to the literature with information on the myelinated fibers morphometry from the two sensory nerves responsible for the rat hind limb innervation. This information is valuable for a better understanding of the possible contribution of collateral sprouting from the sural or saphenous nerves on the paw sensory territory recovery observed after one of these nerves is damaged.

KEY WORDS: Sural nerve; Saphenous nerve; Morphometry; Myelinated fibers.

How to cite this article

NERI, L. O.; DE AMORIM, M. M.; CAMPOS, S. A. R.; SANADA, L. S. & FAZAN, V. P. S. Hind limb sensory innervation in rats: Comparison between sural and saphenous nerve morphometry. Int. J. Morphol., 33(2):743-750, 2015.