Behavioural test results. Animals were tested for sensory recovery using Von-Frey test every two weeks. The trend of the treated group's withdrawal threshold is shown: minimum values (12 ± 5.1 gr) were obtained at 16 weeks after surgery. The control group showed no positive response to the stimuli within the test range throughout the four months: an arbitrary value of 180 gr withdrawal threshold, corresponding to the maximum detectable threshold, has been indicated. Some animals were excluded from the mechanical stimuli test upon occurrence of spontaneous autophagy of the tested lower limb. To note, contralateral healthy nerves showed a sensitivity threshold of approximately 15 gr. Error bars represent standard deviation (N = 12).