Depletion of myelin and neurobehavioural deficits are indications that vanadium crosses the blood‐brain barrier and such neurotoxic effects of vanadium on the brain of Wistar rats have been elucidated. The effect however on the peripheral nerves, is yet to be reported. Thus, this work was designed to evaluate the axonal and myelin integrity of sciatic nerves in Wistar rats following exposure to vanadium.

10 male Wistar rats were exposed to 3mg/kg body weight of sodium metavanadate for 7 days, subjected to rearing and forelimb grip behavioural tests, and sciatic nerves processed for histology (Haematoxylin and Eosin, Cresyl Violet, Luxol Fast Blue). Dystrophic axons with vesiculated myelin, thinned myelin sheath and demyelinated axons were observed in the vanadium exposed rats, suggestive of axonopathy, classified as Fourth Degree nerve injury. Lower behavioural scores were recorded for vanadium‐dosed rats thus, corroborating histological pictures observed of the sciatic nerves. Authors posit that vanadium crossed the “blood‐nerve” barrier and caused the observed axonal pathologies and myelin depletion in the sciatic nerve of this rodents with resultant motor deficits. This paper discusses possible motor deficits and possible public health importance in regions with crude oil pollution and gas flaring rich in vanadium products.

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