The present study seeks to systematize morphological and morphometrical parameters and brings new data on the main branch of the lumbosacral plexus – i.e., sciatic nerve – in Wistar rats aged four and seven weeks. Sixteen female were divided into two groups, namely animals aged four weeks, and animals aged seven weeks. The specimens were studied at proximal and distal segments of the right hind limb sciatic nerves. Semi-thin transverse sections (0.25 μm thickness) were stained with 1 % toluidine blue, and the morphometric analysis was processed through the KS 400 software. Except for the number of fascicles and fascicular diameter, no differences were found between the proximal and distal segments. We observed differences when morphometric values were compared between 4- and 7- week old animals, with some exceptions (number of fascicles and myelinated fibers, and capillary area and number). The macroscopic data disagree with a previous description of the sciatic nerve being composed by two fascicles. Instead, sciatic nerve’s only fascicle trifurcates or quadrifurcates at the distal third of the thigh. The total capillary area and density were calculated, and these are the first referential data for the sciatic nerve. Histograms of myelinated fiber and axons considering the animal ages were built. The results presented here are important because experimental studies, mainly studies on nerve regenerations require comparison with normal reliable data.
KEY WORDS: Rat sciatic nerve; Myelinated nerve fibers; Capillaries; Anatomy and histology; Animal experimental use.