Recovery of overground locomotion following partial spinal lesions of different extent in the rat.


:In six rats with incomplete low thoracic spinal cord lesions of different extent, basic gait indices such as locomotor speed, step cycle duration, soleus (Sol) muscle activity duration, the interval between the onsets of Sol and tibialis anterior (TA) muscle activities and interlimb coordination were investigated by EMG analysis of the Sol and TA muscles recorded using chronic electrodes. The operated animals were divided into two subgroups: (1) those with a smaller lesion involving the dorsal quadrants of the spinal cord and, to a variable extent, the ventrolateral funiculi, and (2) those with an extensive lesion sparing only parts of the ventral funiculi. The locomotion of all rats was tested once a week for the first 5 weeks postsurgery and then once or twice a month, up to 3.5 months. The surgical lesions affected all analyzed gait indices: the locomotor speed decreased, while all other indices increased compared to recordings made preoperatively. In both subgroups the major improvement in locomotion occurred within the first 5 weeks following surgery and the rats reached a plateau in their recovery at around 2 months postoperatively. The late effects of injury depended on the severity of the spinal lesion: in the subgroup of rats with a smaller lesion, the postoperative changes in the different indices amounted to approximately 20%, while in the subgroup with extensive lesions this was increased by 20-50%, with changes in various indices being strongly correlated with the extent of the injury in individual animals. These postoperative changes were partly due to alterations in the relationships between the analyzed variables.


Behav Brain Res


Górska T,Chojnicka-Gittins B,Majczyński H,Zmysłowski W




Has Abstract


2009-01-23 00:00:00














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