Peripheral nerve transfers change target muscle structure and function
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2019

Selective nerve transfers surgically rewire motor neurons and are used in extremity reconstruction to restore muscle function or to facilitate intuitive prosthetic control. We investigated the neurophysiological effects of rewiring motor axons originating from spinal motor neuron pools into target muscles with lower innervation ratio in a rat model. Following reinnervation, the target muscle's force regenerated almost completely, with the motor unit population increasing to 116% in functional and 172% in histological assessments with subsequently smaller muscle units. Muscle fiber type populations transformed into the donor nerve's original muscles. We thus demonstrate that axons of alternative spinal origin can hyper-reinnervate target muscles without loss of muscle force regeneration, but with a donor-specific shift in muscle fiber type. These results explain the excellent clinical outcomes following nerve transfers in neuromuscular reconstruction. They indicate that reinnervated muscles can provide an accurate bioscreen to display neural information of lost body parts for high-fidelity prosthetic control.


Konstantin D Bergmeister

Medizinische Universität Wien

Martin Aman

Medizinische Universität Wien

Silvia Muceli

Universitätsmedizin Göttingen

Imperial College London

Ivan Vujaklija

Imperial College London

Krisztina Manzano-Szalai

Medizinische Universität Wien

Ewald Unger

Medizinische Universität Wien

Ruth A. Byrne

Medizinische Universität Wien

Clemens Scheinecker

Medizinische Universität Wien

Otto Riedl

Medizinische Universität Wien

Stefan Salminger

Medizinische Universität Wien

Florian Frommlet

Medizinische Universität Wien

Gregory H. Borschel

Hospital for Sick Children University of Toronto

Dario Farina

Imperial College London

Oskar C. Aszmann

Medizinische Universität Wien

Science advances

2375-2548 (eISSN)

Vol. 5 1 eaau2956


Medicinska grundvetenskaper

Klinisk medicin

Medicinsk bioteknologi



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