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Purpose: To evaluate the effect of Ferula asafoetida (oleo gum resin powder) on sensory and motor functions retrieval on an induced sciatic nerve injury in a mouse model.
Methods: A mechanical crush was inserted in the sciatic nerve of all the experimental mice after acclimatization. The mice were allocated to four groups; one normal chow group (control, n = 7) and three Ferula asafoetida chow groups (each n = 7) of different doses (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg). Muscle grip strength, muscle mass, and sciatic functional index were measured to evaluate the motor function regain, while sensory function regain was assessed by hot plate test. Oxidative stress and glycemic levels were measured by biochemical assays.
Results: The findings of this study indicate that Ferula asafoetida 200 mg/kg has a highly significant (p≤ 0.001) ameliorating effect in terms of improved grip strength (77.7 ± 5.4 % for 200 mg/kg vs. 46 ± 5.1 % for control), reversal of SFI towards normal ( -34 ± 8.1 for 200 mg/kg group vs. –61 ± 6.1 for control), decrease in paw withdrawal latency (7.10 ± 0.06 s for 200 mg/kg group vs. 15 ± 0.5 s for control) on day 12 post-injury, as well as restoration of skeletal muscle mass towards normal. Interestingly, F. asafoetida chow 50 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg groups also impacted significant (p < 0.01) improvement in the ameliorative effect. However, the differences among all treatment groups in ameliorating recovery were not significant (p > 0.05). Moreover, comparatively improved (p < 0.0001) total antioxidant capacity along with reduced total oxidant status (p = 0.01) in the Ferula asafoetida chow (200 mg/kg) group, indicate the antioxidative effect of this plant. Furthermore, the treated mice (200 mg/kg) also expressed
an improved glycemic level (p = 0.0005).
Conclusion: Ferula asafoetida supplementation helps to accelerate both sensory and motor function retrieval following sciatic nerve injury. This improvement is thought to be correlated with the antioxidant capacity of the plant. However, further investigations are required to identify the therapeutic principles responsible for the observed actions.
Keywords: Sciatic nerve injury, Ferula asafoetida, Function recovery, Oxidative stress, Biochemical analysis