Functional and electrophysiological changes after graded traumatic spinal cord injury in adult rat

Qilin Cao, Yi Ping Zhang, Christopher Iannotti, William H. DeVries, Xiao Ming Xu, Christopher B. Shields, Scott R. Whittemore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

145 Scopus citations

Abstract

A graded contusion spinal cord injury (SCI) was created in the adult rat spinal cord using the Infinite Horizons (IH) impactor to study the correlation between injury severity and anatomical, behavioral, and electrophysiological outcomes. Adult Fisher rats were equally divided into five groups and received contusion injuries at the ninth thoracic level (T9) with 100, 125, 150, 175, or 200 kdyn impact forces, respectively. Transcranial magnetic motor-evoked potentials (tcMMEPs) and BBB open-field locomotor analyses were performed weekly for 4 weeks postinjury. Our results demonstrated that hindlimb locomotor function decreased in accordance with an increase in injury severity. The locomotor deficits were proportional to the amount of damage to the ventral and lateral white matter (WM). Locomotor function was strongly correlated to the amount of spared WM, which contains the reticulospinal and propriospinal tracts. Normal tcMMEP latencies were recorded in control, all of 100-kdyn-injured and half of 125-kdyn-injured animals. Delayed latency responses were recorded in some of 125-kdyn-injured and all of 150-kdyn-injured animals. No tcMMEP responses were recorded in 175- and 200-kdyn-injured animals. Comparison of tcMMEP responses with areas of WM loss or demyelination identified the medial ventrolateral funiculus (VLF) as the location of the tcMMEP pathway. Immunohistochemical and electromicroscopic (EM) analyses showed the presence of demyelinated axons in WM tracts surrounding the lesion cavities at 28 days postinjury. These data support the notion that widespread WM damage in the ventral and lateral funiculi may be a major cause for locomotor deficits and lack of tcMMEP responses after SCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S3-S16
JournalExperimental Neurology
Volume191
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Demyelination
  • Locomotion
  • Rat
  • Spinal cord injury
  • tcMMEP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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    Cao, Q., Zhang, Y. P., Iannotti, C., DeVries, W. H., Xu, X. M., Shields, C. B., & Whittemore, S. R. (2005). Functional and electrophysiological changes after graded traumatic spinal cord injury in adult rat. Experimental Neurology, 191(SUPPL. 1), S3-S16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2004.08.026