Dataset for: Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) improves mouse peripheral nerve regeneration following sciatic nerve crush

Peripheral nerve injuries severely impair patients’ quality of life since full recovery is seldom achieved. Upon axonal disruption, the distal nerve stump undergoes fragmentation, and myelin breaks down; the subsequent regeneration progression is dependent on cell debris removal. In addition to tissue clearance, macrophages release angiogenic and neurotrophic factors that contribute to axon growth. Based on the importance of macrophages for nerve regeneration, especially during the initial response to injury, we treated mice with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) at various intervals after sciatic nerve crushing. Sciatic nerves were histologically analyzed at different time intervals after injury for the presence of macrophages and indicators of regeneration. Functional recovery was followed by an automated walking track test. We found that GM-CSF potentiated early axon growth, as indicated by the enhanced expression of growth-associated protein at 7 days postinjury. Inducible nitric oxide synthase expression increased at the beginning and at the end of the regenerative process, suggesting that nitric oxide is involved in axon growth and pruning. As expected, GM-CSF treatment stimulated macrophage infiltration, which increased at 7 and 14 days; however, it did not improve myelin clearance. Instead, GM-CSF stimulated early brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) production, which peaked at 7 days. Locomotor recovery pattern was not improved by GM-CSF treatment. The present results suggest that GM-CSF may have beneficial effects on early axonal regeneration.