Peripheral nervous injury (PNI) is a common form of trauma in modern society, especially in sport players. Despite the advance of therapy for PNI, the recovery of function can never reach the preinjury level after treatments. Recently, inhibiting neural oxidative stress shows a beneficial effect in improving functional recovery after PNI. In addition, sesame oil has been reported to possess the excellent antioxidative properties. However, whether sesame oil can improve the functional recovery after PNI by its antioxidative effect has never been investigated. Thirty mice were randomly divided into five groups of six: group I mice received sham operation; group II mice received sciatic nerve crush; and groups III–V mice daily ingested 0.5, 1 and 2 ml/kg of sesame oil for 6 days, respectively, after sciatic nerve crush. Oxidative stress, GAP43 and nuclear Nrf2 levels as well as spinal somatosensory evoked potentials were assessed on day 6, while paw withdrawal latency and sciatic function index were assessed on days 0, 3, and 6. Sesame oil significantly decreased lipid peroxidation and increased nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 and GAP43 expression in sciatic nerve. Furthermore, sesame oil improved electrophysiological and functional assessments in mice with sciatic nerve crush. In conclusion, sesame oil may improve nerve functional recovery by attenuating nerve oxidative stress in mouse acute peripheral nerve injury. Further, application of natural product sesame oil may be an alternative approach for improving nerve functional recovery in the clinical setting.
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