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Sample records for motor vehicle-related spinal

  1. Tribal motor vehicle injury prevention programs for reducing disparities in motor vehicle-related injuries.

    PubMed

    West, Bethany A; Naumann, Rebecca B

    2014-04-18

    A previous analysis of National Vital Statistics System data for 2003-2007 that examined disparities in rates of motor vehicle-related death by race/ethnicity and sex found that death rates for American Indians/Alaska Natives were two to four times the rates of other races/ethnicities. To address the disparity in motor vehicle-related injuries and deaths among American Indians/Alaska Natives, CDC funded four American Indian tribes during 2004-2009 to tailor, implement, and evaluate evidence-based road safety interventions. During the implementation of these four motor vehicle-related injury prevention pilot programs, seat belt and child safety seat use increased and alcohol-impaired driving decreased. Four American Indian/Alaska Native tribal communities-the Tohono O'odham Nation, the Ho-Chunk Nation, the White Mountain Apache Tribe, and the San Carlos Apache Tribe-implemented evidence-based road safety interventions to reduce motor vehicle-related injuries and deaths. Each community selected interventions from the Guide to Community Preventive Services and implemented them during 2004-2009. Furthermore, each community took a multifaceted approach by incorporating several strategies, such as school and community education programs, media campaigns, and collaborations with law enforcement officers into their programs. Police data and direct observational surveys were the main data sources used to assess results of the programs. Results included increased use of seat belts and child safety seats, increased enforcement of alcohol-impaired driving laws, and decreased motor vehicle crashes involving injuries or deaths. CDC's Office of Minority Health and Health Equity selected the intervention analysis and discussion as an example of a program that might be effective for reducing motor vehicle-related injury disparities in the United States. The Guide to Community Preventive Services recognizes these selected interventions as effective; this report examines the

  2. Motor Vehicle Related Child Deaths: A Plea for Action.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toledo, Jose R.; And Others

    This paper reviews the literature concerning motor related child deaths, emphasizes that automobile related incidents are the major cause of death in children below 14 and over 1 year of age, and provides suggestions about what pediatricians can do to reduce highway fatalities among children. Special attention is given to investigations of the use…

  3. Motor vehicle-related deaths around two major holidays in South Korea.

    PubMed

    Sohn, Kitae

    2017-10-01

    South Korea has consistently exhibited high rates of motor vehicle-related deaths (MVDs) since the late 1980s. This study investigated the number of MVDs around two major public holidays in South Korea-Lunar New Year's Day and Thanksgiving Day. MVDs from records of all individual deaths in 1997-2014 were extracted; then, MVDs per day from 14 days before and after each holiday (ie, 29 days in total) were summed across the years. Eventually, the 3-day mean values of MVDs before and after the holiday were compared, when holiday-related traffic peaks. The 3-day mean before Lunar New Year's Day was 385 fatalities, but dropped to 324 after the holiday; the corresponding figures for Thanksgiving Day were 494 and 413. These results are contrary to those of other countries. It appears that the severe congestion of highway traffic around the holidays resulted in a decrease in MVDs. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  4. Reducing Motor Vehicle-Related Injuries at an Arizona Indian Reservation: Ten Years of Application of Evidence-Based Strategies.

    PubMed

    Piontkowski, Stephen R; Peabody, Jon S; Reede, Christine; Velascosoltero, José; Tsatoke, Gordon; Shelhamer, Timothy; Hicks, Kenny R

    2015-12-01

    Unintentional injury is a significant public health burden for American Indians and Alaska Natives and was the leading cause of death among those aged 1 to 44 years between 1999 and 2004. Of those deaths, motor vehicle-related deaths cause the most mortality, justifying the need for intervention at an American Indian Reservation in Arizona (United States). We describe motor vehicle injury prevention program operations from 2004 through 2013. This community-based approach led by a multidisciplinary team primarily comprised of environmental public health and law enforcement personnel implemented evidence-based strategies to reduce the impact of motor vehicle-related injuries and deaths, focusing on reducing impaired driving and increasing occupant restraint use. Strategies included: mass media campaigns to enhance awareness and outreach; high-visibility sobriety checkpoints; passing and enforcing 0.08% blood alcohol concentration limits for drivers and primary occupant restraint laws; and child car seat distribution and education. Routine monitoring and evaluation data showed a significant 5% to 7% annual reduction of motor vehicle crashes (MVCs), nighttime MVCs, MVCs with injuries/fatalities, and nighttime MVCs with injuries/fatalities between 2004 and 2013, but the annual percent change in arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) was not significant. There was also a 144% increase in driver/front seat passenger seat belt use, from 19% in 2011 before the primary occupant restraint law was enacted to 47% during the first full year of enforcement (2013). Car seat checkpoint data also suggested a 160% increase in car seat use, from less than 20% to 52% in 2013. Implementation of evidence-based strategies in injury prevention, along with employment of key program approaches such as strong partnership building, community engagement, and consistent staffing and funding, can narrow the public health disparity gap experienced among American Indian and Alaska Native

  5. Reducing Motor Vehicle-Related Injuries at an Arizona Indian Reservation: Ten Years of Application of Evidence-Based Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Piontkowski, Stephen R; Peabody, Jon S; Reede, Christine; Velascosoltero, José; Tsatoke, Gordon; Shelhamer, Timothy; Hicks, Kenny R

    2015-01-01

    Unintentional injury is a significant public health burden for American Indians and Alaska Natives and was the leading cause of death among those aged 1 to 44 years between 1999 and 2004. Of those deaths, motor vehicle-related deaths cause the most mortality, justifying the need for intervention at an American Indian Reservation in Arizona (United States). We describe motor vehicle injury prevention program operations from 2004 through 2013. This community-based approach led by a multidisciplinary team primarily comprised of environmental public health and law enforcement personnel implemented evidence-based strategies to reduce the impact of motor vehicle-related injuries and deaths, focusing on reducing impaired driving and increasing occupant restraint use. Strategies included: mass media campaigns to enhance awareness and outreach; high-visibility sobriety checkpoints; passing and enforcing 0.08% blood alcohol concentration limits for drivers and primary occupant restraint laws; and child car seat distribution and education. Routine monitoring and evaluation data showed a significant 5% to 7% annual reduction of motor vehicle crashes (MVCs), nighttime MVCs, MVCs with injuries/fatalities, and nighttime MVCs with injuries/fatalities between 2004 and 2013, but the annual percent change in arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) was not significant. There was also a 144% increase in driver/front seat passenger seat belt use, from 19% in 2011 before the primary occupant restraint law was enacted to 47% during the first full year of enforcement (2013). Car seat checkpoint data also suggested a 160% increase in car seat use, from less than 20% to 52% in 2013. Implementation of evidence-based strategies in injury prevention, along with employment of key program approaches such as strong partnership building, community engagement, and consistent staffing and funding, can narrow the public health disparity gap experienced among American Indian and Alaska Native

  6. Frequency, causes and human impact of motor vehicle-related road traffic accident (RTA) in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo.

    PubMed

    Nangana, Luzitu Severin; Monga, Ben; Ngatu, Nlandu Roger; Mbelambela, Etongola Papy; Mbutshu, Lukuke Hendrick; Malonga, Kaj Francoise

    2016-09-01

    Road traffic accident (RTA)-related trauma remains a public health issue. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency, causes and human impact of motor vehicle-related RTA in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo. A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted in the first semester of the year 2015 in which 288 drivers (144 RTA-causing drivers and 144 control drivers who have been declared not guilty by road safety agents) involved in 144 motor vehicle-related RTA were interviewed, and only data on all RTA involving two motor vehicles with at least four wheels were recorded and analyzed. Results showed a total of 144 RTA that involved two motor vehicles with four wheels occurring during the study period which affected 104 people, including 93 injury and 11 fatality cases. The mean age of RTA-causing drivers was 33.8 ± 7.4, whereas it was 35 ± 8.8 for control drivers. The majority of RTA-causing drivers (53.4 %) did not attend a driving school. Over speeding (32 %), distracted driving (22 %), overtaking (16 %) and careless driving/risky maneuver (15 %) and driving under the influence of alcohol (9 %) were the main causes of RTA occurrence. In addition, the absence of a valid driving license [aOR = 12.74 (±2.71); 95 % CI 3.877-41.916; p = 0.015], unfastened seat belt for the RTA-causing driver [aOR = 1.85 (±0.62); 95 % CI 1.306-6.661; p = 0.048] and presence of damages on RTA-causing vehicle [aOR = 33.56 (24.01); 95 % CI 1.429-78.352; p = 0.029] were associated with the occurrence of RTA-related fatality. This study showed a relatively high frequency of RTA occurring in Lubumbashi and suggests the necessity to reinforce road traffic regulation.

  7. Spinal metaplasticity in respiratory motor control

    PubMed Central

    Fields, Daryl P.; Mitchell, Gordon S.

    2015-01-01

    A hallmark feature of the neural system controlling breathing is its ability to exhibit plasticity. Less appreciated is the ability to exhibit metaplasticity, a change in the capacity to express plasticity (i.e., “plastic plasticity”). Recent advances in our understanding of cellular mechanisms giving rise to respiratory motor plasticity lay the groundwork for (ongoing) investigations of metaplasticity. This detailed understanding of respiratory metaplasticity will be essential as we harness metaplasticity to restore breathing capacity in clinical disorders that compromise breathing, such as cervical spinal injury, motor neuron disease and other neuromuscular diseases. In this brief review, we discuss key examples of metaplasticity in respiratory motor control, and our current understanding of mechanisms giving rise to spinal plasticity and metaplasticity in phrenic motor output; particularly after pre-conditioning with intermittent hypoxia. Progress in this area has led to the realization that similar mechanisms are operative in other spinal motor networks, including those governing limb movement. Further, these mechanisms can be harnessed to restore respiratory and non-respiratory motor function after spinal injury. PMID:25717292

  8. Descending motor pathways and the spinal motor system - Limbic and non-limbic components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holstege, Gert

    1991-01-01

    Research on descending motor pathways to caudal brainstem and spinal cord in the spinal motor system is reviewed. Particular attention is given to somatic and autonomic motoneurons in the spinal cord and brainstem, local projections to motoneurons, bulbospinal interneurons projecting to motoneurons, descending pathways of somatic motor control systems, and descending pathways involved in limbic motor control systems.

  9. Descending motor pathways and the spinal motor system - Limbic and non-limbic components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holstege, Gert

    1991-01-01

    Research on descending motor pathways to caudal brainstem and spinal cord in the spinal motor system is reviewed. Particular attention is given to somatic and autonomic motoneurons in the spinal cord and brainstem, local projections to motoneurons, bulbospinal interneurons projecting to motoneurons, descending pathways of somatic motor control systems, and descending pathways involved in limbic motor control systems.

  10. Corticospinal circuit plasticity in motor rehabilitation from spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Serradj, Najet; Agger, Sydney F; Hollis, Edmund R

    2016-12-06

    Restoring corticospinal function after spinal cord injury is a significant challenge as the corticospinal tract elicits no substantive, spontaneous regeneration, and its interruption leaves a permanent deficit. The corticospinal circuit serves multiple motor and sensory functions within the mammalian nervous system as the direct link between isocortex and spinal cord. Maturation of the corticospinal circuit involves the refinement of projections within the spinal cord and a subsequent refinement of motor maps within the cortex. The plasticity of these cortical motor maps mirrors the acquisition of skilled motor learning, and both the maps and motor skills are disrupted following injury to the corticospinal tract. The motor cortex exhibits the capacity to incorporate changes in corticospinal projections induced by both spontaneous and therapeutic-mediated plasticity of corticospinal axons through appropriate rehabilitation. An understanding of the mechanisms of corticospinal plasticity in motor learning will undoubtedly help inform strategies to improve motor rehabilitation after spinal cord injury.

  11. Genetically identified spinal interneurons integrating tactile afferents for motor control

    PubMed Central

    Panek, Izabela; Farah, Carl

    2015-01-01

    Our movements are shaped by our perception of the world as communicated by our senses. Perception of sensory information has been largely attributed to cortical activity. However, a prior level of sensory processing occurs in the spinal cord. Indeed, sensory inputs directly project to many spinal circuits, some of which communicate with motor circuits within the spinal cord. Therefore, the processing of sensory information for the purpose of ensuring proper movements is distributed between spinal and supraspinal circuits. The mechanisms underlying the integration of sensory information for motor control at the level of the spinal cord have yet to be fully described. Recent research has led to the characterization of spinal neuron populations that share common molecular identities. Identification of molecular markers that define specific populations of spinal neurons is a prerequisite to the application of genetic techniques devised to both delineate the function of these spinal neurons and their connectivity. This strategy has been used in the study of spinal neurons that receive tactile inputs from sensory neurons innervating the skin. As a result, the circuits that include these spinal neurons have been revealed to play important roles in specific aspects of motor function. We describe these genetically identified spinal neurons that integrate tactile information and the contribution of these studies to our understanding of how tactile information shapes motor output. Furthermore, we describe future opportunities that these circuits present for shedding light on the neural mechanisms of tactile processing. PMID:26445867

  12. Update: Motor vehicle-related deaths, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, 1999-2012.

    PubMed

    2013-11-01

    From 1999 to 2012, there were 4,479 motor vehicle accident (MVA)-related deaths among members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Of these, the single most common underlying cause of death was motorcycle accidents (n=1,134; 25.6%). Among active component service members during the 14-year surveillance period, the annual number (n=355) and rate (25.1 per 100,000 person-years[p-yrs]) of MVA-related deaths peaked in 2004. Since then, a steady downward trend followed and the 2012 number (n=184) and rate (13.2 per 100,000 p-yrs) were the lowest of the entire period. For members of the reserve component, the annual number of deaths peaked in 2005 (n=86), but the number in 2012 (n=22) was the lowest of the period. In 2012, the number (n=90) and rate of deaths (6.5 per 100,000 p-yrs) related to motorcycle accidents among active component service members almost equaled the number (n=94) and rate of deaths (6.7 per 100,000 p-yrs) from all other types of motor vehicle accidents combined. During the entire period, numbers of fatal motor vehicle accidents tended to be higher in the warmer months of the year. After 2009, motor vehicle accidents were no longer the leading, non-war- related cause of death among U.S. service members.

  13. A regionalised strategy for improving motor vehicle-related highway driver deaths using a weighted averages method

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Tad; Rivara, Frederick P; Mozingo, David W; Lottenberg, Lawrence; Harris, Zachary B; Casella, George; Liu, Huazhi; Moldawer, Lyle L; Efron, Philip A; Ang, Darwin N

    2015-01-01

    Objective The state of Florida has some of the most dangerous highways in the USA. In 2006, Florida averaged 1.65 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles travelled (VMT) compared with the national average of 1.42. A study was undertaken to find a method of identifying counties that contributed to the most driver fatalities after a motor vehicle collision (MVC). By regionalising interventions unique to this subset of counties, the use of resources would have the greatest potential of improving statewide driver death. Methods The Florida Highway Safety Motor Vehicle database 2000–2006 was used to calculate driver VMT-weighted deaths by county. A total of 3 468 326 motor vehicle crashes were evaluated. Counties that had driver death rates higher than the state average were sorted by a weighted averages method. Multivariate regression was used to calculate the likelihood of death for various risk factors. Results VMT-weighted death rates identified 12 out of 67 counties that contributed up to 50% of overall driver fatalities. These counties were primarily clustered in central and south Florida. The strongest independent risk factors for driver death attributable to MVC in these high-risk counties were alcohol/drug use, rural roads, speed limit ≥45 mph, adverse weather conditions, divided highways, vehicle type, vehicle defects and roadway location. Conclusions Using the weighted averages method, a small subset of counties contributing to the majority of statewide driver fatalities was identified. Regionalised interventions on specific risk factors in these counties may have the greatest impact on reducing driver-related MVC fatalities. PMID:21685144

  14. Public opinion on motor vehicle-related injury prevention policies: a systematic review of a decade of research.

    PubMed

    Debinski, Beata; Clegg Smith, Katherine; Gielen, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Legislation is an effective strategy for reducing road-related fatalities and injuries. Public opinion can be an impetus for passing new laws and can affect the success of their implementation, but little is known about the current state of public opinion toward existing and proposed road-related policies in the United States. This review describes the scope and results of research on public support for state- and local-level evidence-based motor vehicle- and bicycle-related policies. We identify gaps in our understanding of public support for these policies. Published U.S. literature and all reports from the NHTSA from the past decade (2003-2012) were searched for data on opinions about existing or proposed policies related to motor vehicle or bicycle injury prevention. Twenty-six studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. In all, studies reported public opinion about 7 injury prevention topic areas: all-terrain vehicles (n = 1), automated enforcement with red light and speed cameras (n = 5), distracted driving (n = 4), drinking and driving (n = 5), graduated driver licensing (n = 7), helmets (n = 7), and seat belts (n = 4). Twenty-three studies focused only on one topic, and 3 sought public opinion about multiple topic areas. The studies revealed generally high levels of support for injury prevention policies in all topic areas. Fifteen studies collected information from national samples, and only 7 studies reported data from the state (n = 5) or local (n = 2) level. There is a relatively small evidence base on public opinion related to motor vehicle- and bicycle-related evidence-based policies; even less is less known for state- or county-specific policies. The findings of this review suggest that the public's opinion toward injury prevention legislation is generally favorable. This information can be used to communicate with the media and policy makers to reinforce the need for effective policy solutions to continuing motor vehicle injury problems. More research

  15. Descending Systems Direct Development of Key Spinal Motor Circuits.

    PubMed

    Smith, Calvin C; Paton, Julian F R; Chakrabarty, Samit; Ichiyama, Ronaldo M

    2017-06-28

    The formation of mature spinal motor circuits is dependent on both activity-dependent and independent mechanisms during postnatal development. During this time, reorganization and refinement of spinal sensorimotor circuits occurs as supraspinal projections are integrated. However, specific features of postnatal spinal circuit development remain poorly understood. This study provides the first detailed characterization of rat spinal sensorimotor circuit development in the presence and absence of descending systems. We show that the development of proprioceptive afferent input to motoneurons (MNs) and Renshaw cells (RCs) is disrupted by thoracic spinal cord transection at postnatal day 5 (P5TX). P5TX also led to malformation of GABApre neuron axo-axonic contacts on Ia afferents and of the recurrent inhibitory circuit between MNs and RCs. Using a novel in situ perfused preparation for studying motor control, we show that malformation of these spinal circuits leads to hyperexcitability of the monosynaptic reflex. Our results demonstrate that removing descending input severely disrupts the development of spinal circuits and identifies key mechanisms contributing to motor dysfunction in conditions such as cerebral palsy and spinal cord injury.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Acquisition of mature behavior during postnatal development correlates with the arrival and maturation of supraspinal projections to the spinal cord. However, we know little about the role that descending systems play in the maturation of spinal circuits. Here, we characterize postnatal development of key spinal microcircuits in the presence and absence of descending systems. We show that formation of these circuits is abnormal after early (postnatal day 5) removal of descending systems, inducing hyperexcitability of the monosynaptic reflex. The study is a detailed characterization of spinal circuit development elucidating how these mechanisms contribute to motor dysfunction in conditions such as cerebral

  16. Motor cortex changes in spinal cord injury: a TMS study.

    PubMed

    Saturno, Eleonora; Bonato, Claudio; Miniussi, Carlo; Lazzaro, Vincenzodi; Callea, Leonardo

    2008-12-01

    Using paired pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) paradigms, we studied cortical excitability in a patient with spinal cord lesion. During posterior tibial nerve stimulation, the contextual flexion of hand fingers contralateral to the stimulated lower limb had suggested a change in motor cortex excitability. Results showed a decrease in the activity of motor cortex inhibitory circuits. This could suggest that in spinal cord injury, just as in stroke and peripheral deafferentation, a disinhibition of latent synapses within the motor cortex and the rewriting of a new motor map can occur.

  17. The relationship between visibility aid use and motor vehicle related injuries among bicyclists presenting to emergency departments.

    PubMed

    Hagel, B E; Romanow, N T R; Morgunov, N; Embree, T; Couperthwaite, A B; Voaklander, D; Rowe, B H

    2014-04-01

    Little is known about the effectiveness of visibility aids (VAs; e.g., reflectors, lights, fluorescent clothing) in reducing the risk of a bicyclist-motor-vehicle (MV) collision. To determine if VAs reduce the risk of a bicyclist-MV collision. Cases were bicyclists struck by a MV and assessed at Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, emergency departments (EDs) from May 2008 to October 2010. Controls were bicyclists with non-MV injuries. Participants were interviewed about their personal and injury characteristics, including use of VAs. Injury information was collected from charts. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated for VAs during daylight and dark conditions, and adjusted for confounders using logistic regression. Missing values were imputed using chained equations and adjusted OR estimates from the imputed data were calculated. There were 2403 injured bicyclists including 278 cases. After adjusting for age, sex, type of bicycling (commuting vs. recreational) and bicyclist speed, white compared with black (OR 0.52; 95% CI 0.28, 0.95), and bicyclist self-reported light compared with dark coloured (OR 0.67; 95% CI 0.49, 0.92) upper body clothing reduced the odds of a MV collision during daylight. After imputing missing values, white compared with black (OR 0.57; 95% CI: 0.32, 0.99) and bicyclist self-reported light compared with dark coloured (OR 0.71; 95% CI 0.52, 0.97) upper body clothing remained protective against MV collision in daylight conditions. During dark conditions, crude estimates indicated that reflective clothing or other items, red/orange/yellow front upper body clothing compared with black, fluorescent clothing, headlights and tail lights were estimated to increase the odds of a MV collision. An imputed adjusted analysis revealed that red/orange/yellow front upper body clothing colour (OR 4.11; 95% CI 1.06, 15.99) and tail lights (OR 2.54; 95% CI: 1.06, 6.07) remained the only significant risk factors for MV

  18. Targeting Lumbar Spinal Neural Circuitry by Epidural Stimulation to Restore Motor Function After Spinal Cord Injury.

    PubMed

    Minassian, Karen; McKay, W Barry; Binder, Heinrich; Hofstoetter, Ursula S

    2016-04-01

    Epidural spinal cord stimulation has a long history of application for improving motor control in spinal cord injury. This review focuses on its resurgence following the progress made in understanding the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms and on recent reports of its augmentative effects upon otherwise subfunctional volitional motor control. Early work revealed that the spinal circuitry involved in lower-limb motor control can be accessed by stimulating through electrodes placed epidurally over the posterior aspect of the lumbar spinal cord below a paralyzing injury. Current understanding is that such stimulation activates large-to-medium-diameter sensory fibers within the posterior roots. Those fibers then trans-synaptically activate various spinal reflex circuits and plurisegmentally organized interneuronal networks that control more complex contraction and relaxation patterns involving multiple muscles. The induced change in responsiveness of this spinal motor circuitry to any residual supraspinal input via clinically silent translesional neural connections that have survived the injury may be a likely explanation for rudimentary volitional control enabled by epidural stimulation in otherwise paralyzed muscles. Technological developments that allow dynamic control of stimulation parameters and the potential for activity-dependent beneficial plasticity may further unveil the remarkable capacity of spinal motor processing that remains even after severe spinal cord injuries.

  19. Chlorpheniramine produces spinal motor, proprioceptive and nociceptive blockades in rats.

    PubMed

    Tzeng, Jann-Inn; Lin, Heng-Teng; Chen, Yu-Wen; Hung, Ching-Hsia; Wang, Jhi-Joung

    2015-04-05

    This study aimed to assess the local anesthetic effects of chlorpheniramine in spinal anesthesia and is compared with mepivacaine, a widely-used local anesthetic. Spinal anesthesia with chlorpheniramine and mepivacaine was constructed in a dosage-dependent fashion after the rats were injected intrathecally. The spinal block effect of chlorpheniramine in motor function, nociception, and proprioception was compared to that of mepivacaine. We revealed that intrathecal chlorpheniramine and mepivacaine exhibited a dose-dependent spinal block of motor function, nociception, and proprioception. On the 50% effective dose (ED50) basis, the ranks of potencies in motor function, nociception, and proprioception were chlorpheniramine>mepivacaine (P<0.01 for the differences). On the equianesthetic basis (ED25, ED50, ED75), the duration of spinal anesthesia with chlorpheniramine was greater than that of mepivacaine (P<0.01 for the differences). Instead of mepivacaine, chlorpheniramine produced a greater duration of sensory blockade than the motor blockade. These preclinical data showed that chlorpheniramine has a better sensory-selective action over motor block to produce more potent and long-lasting spinal anesthesia than mepivacaine.

  20. Motor neurons and the generation of spinal motor neuron diversity

    PubMed Central

    Stifani, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Motor neurons (MNs) are neuronal cells located in the central nervous system (CNS) controlling a variety of downstream targets. This function infers the existence of MN subtypes matching the identity of the targets they innervate. To illustrate the mechanism involved in the generation of cellular diversity and the acquisition of specific identity, this review will focus on spinal MNs (SpMNs) that have been the core of significant work and discoveries during the last decades. SpMNs are responsible for the contraction of effector muscles in the periphery. Humans possess more than 500 different skeletal muscles capable to work in a precise time and space coordination to generate complex movements such as walking or grasping. To ensure such refined coordination, SpMNs must retain the identity of the muscle they innervate. Within the last two decades, scientists around the world have produced considerable efforts to elucidate several critical steps of SpMNs differentiation. During development, SpMNs emerge from dividing progenitor cells located in the medial portion of the ventral neural tube. MN identities are established by patterning cues working in cooperation with intrinsic sets of transcription factors. As the embryo develop, MNs further differentiate in a stepwise manner to form compact anatomical groups termed pools connecting to a unique muscle target. MN pools are not homogeneous and comprise subtypes according to the muscle fibers they innervate. This article aims to provide a global view of MN classification as well as an up-to-date review of the molecular mechanisms involved in the generation of SpMN diversity. Remaining conundrums will be discussed since a complete understanding of those mechanisms constitutes the foundation required for the elaboration of prospective MN regeneration therapies. PMID:25346659

  1. Tapping into spinal circuits to restore motor function.

    PubMed

    Barbeau, H; McCrea, D A; O'Donovan, M J; Rossignol, S; Grill, W M; Lemay, M A

    1999-07-01

    Motivated by the challenge of improving neuroprosthetic devices, the authors review current knowledge relating to harnessing the potential of spinal neural circuits, such as reflexes and pattern generators. If such spinal interneuronal circuits could be activated, they could provide the coordinated control of many muscles that is so complex to implement with a device that aims to address each participating muscle individually. The authors' goal is to identify candidate spinal circuits and areas of research that might open opportunities to effect control of human limbs through electrical activation of such circuits. David McCrea's discussion of the ways in which hindlimb reflexes in the cat modify motor activity may help in developing optimal strategies for functional neuromuscular stimulation (FNS), by using knowledge of how reflex actions can adapt to different conditions. Michael O'Donovan's discussion of the development of rhythmogenic networks in the chick embryo may provide clues to methods of generating rhythmic activity in the adult spinal cord. Serge Rossignol examines the spinal pattern generator for locomotion in cats, its trigger mechanisms, modulation and adaptation, and suggests how this knowledge can help guide therapeutic approaches in humans. Hugues Barbeau applies the work of Rossignol and others to locomotor training in human subjects who have suffered spinal cord injury (SCI) with incomplete motor function loss (IMFL). Michel Lemay and Warren Grill discuss some of the technical challenges that must be addressed by engineers to implement a neuroprosthesis using electrical stimulation of the spinal cord, particularly the control issues that would have to be resolved.

  2. Motor neuron mitochondrial dysfunction in spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Nimrod; Shi, Han; Zelikovich, Aaron S.; Ma, Yong-Chao

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading genetic cause of infant mortality, predominantly affects high metabolic tissues including motor neurons, skeletal muscles and the heart. Although the genetic cause of SMA has been identified, mechanisms underlying tissue-specific vulnerability are not well understood. To study these mechanisms, we carried out a deep sequencing analysis of the transcriptome of spinal motor neurons in an SMA mouse model, in which we unexpectedly found changes in many genes associated with mitochondrial bioenergetics. Importantly, functional measurement of mitochondrial activities showed decreased basal and maximal mitochondrial respiration in motor neurons from SMA mice. Using a reduction-oxidation sensitive GFP and fluorescence sensors specifically targeted to mitochondria, we found increased oxidative stress level and impaired mitochondrial membrane potential in motor neurons affected by SMA. In addition, mitochondrial mobility was impaired in SMA disease conditions, with decreased retrograde transport but no effect on anterograde transport. We also found significantly increased fragmentation of the mitochondrial network in primary motor neurons from SMA mice, with no change in mitochondria density. Electron microscopy study of SMA mouse spinal cord revealed mitochondria fragmentation, edema and concentric lamellar inclusions in motor neurons affected by the disease. Intriguingly, these functional and structural deficiencies in the SMA mouse model occur during the presymptomatic stage of disease, suggesting a role in initiating SMA. Altogether, our findings reveal a critical role for mitochondrial defects in SMA pathogenesis and suggest a novel target for improving tissue health in the disease. PMID:27488123

  3. Motor imagery muscle contraction strength influences spinal motor neuron excitability and cardiac sympathetic nerve activity.

    PubMed

    Bunno, Yoshibumi; Suzuki, Toshiaki; Iwatsuki, Hiroyasu

    2015-12-01

    [Purpose] The aim of this study was to investigate the changes in spinal motor neuron excitability and autonomic nervous system activity during motor imagery of isometric thenar muscle activity at 10% and 50% maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). [Methods] The F-waves and low frequency/high frequency (LF/HF) ratio were recorded at rest, during motor imagery, and post-trial. For motor imagery trials, subjects were instructed to imagine thenar muscle activity at 10% and 50% MVC while holding the sensor of a pinch meter for 5 min. [Results] The F-waves and LF/HF ratio during motor imagery at 50% MVC were significantly increased compared with those at rest, whereas those during motor imagery at 10% MVC were not significantly different from those at rest. The relative values of the F/M amplitude ratio during motor imagery at 50% MVC were significantly higher than those at 10% MVC. The relative values of persistence and the LF/HF ratio during motor imagery were similar during motor imagery at the two muscle contraction strengths. [Conclusion] Motor imagery can increase the spinal motor neuron excitability and cardiac sympathetic nerve activity. Motor imagery at 50% MVC may be more effective than motor imagery at 10% MVC.

  4. Experience-dependent development of spinal motor neurons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Inglis, F. M.; Zuckerman, K. E.; Kalb, R. G.; Walton, K. D. (Principal Investigator)

    2000-01-01

    Locomotor activity in many species undergoes pronounced alterations in early postnatal life, and environmental cues may be responsible for modifying this process. To determine how these events are reflected in the nervous system, we studied rats reared under two different conditions-the presence or absence of gravity-in which the performance of motor operations differed. We found a significant effect of rearing environment on the size and complexity of dendritic architecture of spinal motor neurons, particularly those that are likely to participate in postural control. These results provide evidence that neurons subserving motor function undergo activity-dependent maturation in early postnatal life in a manner analogous to sensory systems.

  5. Spinal muscular atrophy: Factors that modulate motor neurone vulnerability.

    PubMed

    Tu, Wen-Yo; Simpson, Julie E; Highley, J Robin; Heath, Paul R

    2017-02-02

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic cause of infant death, is a neurodegenerative disease characterised by the selective loss of particular groups of motor neurones in the anterior horn of the spinal cord with concomitant muscle weakness. To date, no effective treatment is available, however, there are ongoing clinical trials are in place which promise much for the future. However, there remains an ongoing problem in trying to link a single gene loss to motor neurone degeneration. Fortunately, given successful disease models that have been established and intensive studies on SMN functions in the past ten years, we are fast approaching the stage of identifying the underlying mechanisms of SMA pathogenesis Here we discuss potential disease modifying factors on motor neurone vulnerability, in the belief that these factors give insight into the pathological mechanisms of SMA and therefore possible therapeutic targets.

  6. Motor neuron mitochondrial dysfunction in spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Miller, Nimrod; Shi, Han; Zelikovich, Aaron S; Ma, Yong-Chao

    2016-08-15

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading genetic cause of infant mortality, predominantly affects high metabolic tissues including motor neurons, skeletal muscles and the heart. Although the genetic cause of SMA has been identified, mechanisms underlying tissue-specific vulnerability are not well understood. To study these mechanisms, we carried out a deep sequencing analysis of the transcriptome of spinal motor neurons in an SMA mouse model, in which we unexpectedly found changes in many genes associated with mitochondrial bioenergetics. Importantly, functional measurement of mitochondrial activities showed decreased basal and maximal mitochondrial respiration in motor neurons from SMA mice. Using a reduction-oxidation sensitive GFP and fluorescence sensors specifically targeted to mitochondria, we found increased oxidative stress level and impaired mitochondrial membrane potential in motor neurons affected by SMA. In addition, mitochondrial mobility was impaired in SMA disease conditions, with decreased retrograde transport but no effect on anterograde transport. We also found significantly increased fragmentation of the mitochondrial network in primary motor neurons from SMA mice, with no change in mitochondria density. Electron microscopy study of SMA mouse spinal cord revealed mitochondria fragmentation, edema and concentric lamellar inclusions in motor neurons affected by the disease. Intriguingly, these functional and structural deficiencies in the SMA mouse model occur during the presymptomatic stage of disease, suggesting a role in initiating SMA. Altogether, our findings reveal a critical role for mitochondrial defects in SMA pathogenesis and suggest a novel target for improving tissue health in the disease. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Inherited Paediatric Motor Neuron Disorders: Beyond Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Sampaio, Hugo; Mowat, David; Roscioli, Tony

    2017-01-01

    Paediatric motor neuron diseases encompass a group of neurodegenerative diseases characterised by the onset of muscle weakness and atrophy before the age of 18 years, attributable to motor neuron loss across various neuronal networks in the brain and spinal cord. While the genetic underpinnings are diverse, advances in next generation sequencing have transformed diagnostic paradigms. This has reinforced the clinical phenotyping and molecular genetic expertise required to navigate the complexities of such diagnoses. In turn, improved genetic technology and subsequent gene identification have enabled further insights into the mechanisms of motor neuron degeneration and how these diseases form part of a neurodegenerative disorder spectrum. Common pathophysiologies include abnormalities in axonal architecture and function, RNA processing, and protein quality control. This review incorporates an overview of the clinical manifestations, genetics, and pathophysiology of inherited paediatric motor neuron disorders beyond classic SMN1-related spinal muscular atrophy and describes recent advances in next generation sequencing and its clinical application. Specific disease-modifying treatment is becoming a clinical reality in some disorders of the motor neuron highlighting the importance of a timely and specific diagnosis. PMID:28634552

  8. 41 CFR 102-34.320 - What Government-issued charge cards may I use to purchase fuel and motor vehicle related services?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... collect motor vehicle data at the time of purchase. Where appropriate, State sales and motor fuel taxes...: General Services Administration, ATTN: GSA SmartPay® (QMB), 2200 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202. (b...

  9. 41 CFR 102-34.320 - What Government-issued charge cards may I use to purchase fuel and motor vehicle related services?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... collect motor vehicle data at the time of purchase. Where appropriate, State sales and motor fuel taxes...: General Services Administration, ATTN: GSA SmartPay® (QMB), 2200 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202. (b...

  10. 41 CFR 102-34.320 - What Government-issued charge cards may I use to purchase fuel and motor vehicle related services?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... collect motor vehicle data at the time of purchase. Where appropriate, State sales and motor fuel taxes...: General Services Administration, ATTN: GSA SmartPay® (QMB), 2200 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202. (b...

  11. 41 CFR 102-34.320 - What Government-issued charge cards may I use to purchase fuel and motor vehicle related services?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... collect motor vehicle data at the time of purchase. Where appropriate, State sales and motor fuel taxes...: General Services Administration, ATTN: GSA SmartPay ® (QMB), 2200 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202. (b...

  12. 41 CFR 102-34.320 - What Government-issued charge cards may I use to purchase fuel and motor vehicle related services?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... collect motor vehicle data at the time of purchase. Where appropriate, State sales and motor fuel taxes...: General Services Administration, ATTN: GSA SmartPay ® (QMB), 2200 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202. (b...

  13. Patterns of Spinal Sensory-Motor Connectivity Prescribed by a Dorsoventral Positional Template

    PubMed Central

    Sürmeli, Gülşen; Akay, Turgay; Ippolito, Gregory; Tucker, Philip W; Jessell, Thomas M

    2011-01-01

    Summary Sensory-motor circuits in the spinal cord are constructed with a fine specificity that coordinates motor behavior, but the mechanisms that direct sensory connections with their motor neuron partners remain unclear. The dorsoventral settling position of motor pools in the spinal cord is known to match the distal-to-proximal position of their muscle targets in the limb, but the significance of invariant motor neuron positioning is unknown. An analysis of sensory-motor connectivity patterns in FoxP1 mutant mice, where motor neuron position has been scrambled, shows that the final pattern of sensory-motor connections is initiated by the projection of sensory axons to discrete dorsoventral domains of the spinal cord without regard for motor neuron subtype, or indeed, the presence of motor neurons. By implication, the clustering and dorsoventral settling position of motor neuron pools serves as a determinant of the pattern of sensory input specificity, and thus motor coordination. PMID:22036571

  14. Survival motor neuron protein in motor neurons determines synaptic integrity in spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Martinez, Tara L; Kong, Lingling; Wang, Xueyong; Osborne, Melissa A; Crowder, Melissa E; Van Meerbeke, James P; Xu, Xixi; Davis, Crystal; Wooley, Joe; Goldhamer, David J; Lutz, Cathleen M; Rich, Mark M; Sumner, Charlotte J

    2012-06-20

    The inherited motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by deficient expression of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein and results in severe muscle weakness. In SMA mice, synaptic dysfunction of both neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and central sensorimotor synapses precedes motor neuron cell death. To address whether this synaptic dysfunction is due to SMN deficiency in motor neurons, muscle, or both, we generated three lines of conditional SMA mice with tissue-specific increases in SMN expression. All three lines of mice showed increased survival, weights, and improved motor behavior. While increased SMN expression in motor neurons prevented synaptic dysfunction at the NMJ and restored motor neuron somal synapses, increased SMN expression in muscle did not affect synaptic function although it did improve myofiber size. Together these data indicate that both peripheral and central synaptic integrity are dependent on motor neurons in SMA, but SMN may have variable roles in the maintenance of these different synapses. At the NMJ, it functions at the presynaptic terminal in a cell-autonomous fashion, but may be necessary for retrograde trophic signaling to presynaptic inputs onto motor neurons. Importantly, SMN also appears to function in muscle growth and/or maintenance independent of motor neurons. Our data suggest that SMN plays distinct roles in muscle, NMJs, and motor neuron somal synapses and that restored function of SMN at all three sites will be necessary for full recovery of muscle power.

  15. Spinal inhibitory interneuron diversity delineates variant motor microcircuits

    PubMed Central

    Bikoff, Jay B.; Gabitto, Mariano I.; Rivard, Andre F.; Drobac, Estelle; Machado, Timothy A.; Miri, Andrew; Brenner-Morton, Susan; Famojure, Erica; Diaz, Carolyn; Alvarez, Francisco J.; Mentis, George Z.; Jessell, Thomas M.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Animals generate movement by engaging spinal circuits that direct precise sequences of muscle contraction, but the identity and organizational logic of local interneurons that lie at the core of these circuits remain unresolved. Here we show that V1 interneurons, a major inhibitory population that controls motor output, fractionate into highly diverse subsets on the basis of the expression of nineteen transcription factors. Transcriptionally defined V1 subsets exhibit distinct physiological signatures and highly structured spatial distributions with mediolateral and dorsoventral positional biases. These positional distinctions constrain patterns of input from sensory and motor neurons, arguing that interneuron position is a determinant of microcircuit organization. Moreover, V1 diversity indicates that different inhibitory microcircuits exist for motor pools controlling hip, ankle, and foot muscles, revealing a variable circuit architecture for interneurons that control limb movement. PMID:26949184

  16. Motor cortex and spinal cord neuromodulation promote corticospinal tract axonal outgrowth and motor recovery after cervical contusion spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Zareen, N; Shinozaki, M; Ryan, D; Alexander, H; Amer, A; Truong, D Q; Khadka, N; Sarkar, A; Naeem, S; Bikson, M; Martin, J H

    2017-11-01

    Cervical injuries are the most common form of SCI. In this study, we used a neuromodulatory approach to promote skilled movement recovery and repair of the corticospinal tract (CST) after a moderately severe C4 midline contusion in adult rats. We used bilateral epidural intermittent theta burst (iTBS) electrical stimulation of motor cortex to promote CST axonal sprouting and cathodal trans-spinal direct current stimulation (tsDCS) to enhance spinal cord activation to motor cortex stimulation after injury. We used Finite Element Method (FEM) modeling to direct tsDCS to the cervical enlargement. Combined iTBS-tsDCS was delivered for 30min daily for 10days. We compared the effect of stimulation on performance in the horizontal ladder and the Irvine Beattie and Bresnahan forepaw manipulation tasks and CST axonal sprouting in injury-only and injury+stimulation animals. The contusion eliminated the dorsal CST in all animals. tsDCS significantly enhanced motor cortex evoked responses after C4 injury. Using this combined spinal-M1 neuromodulatory approach, we found significant recovery of skilled locomotion and forepaw manipulation skills compared with injury-only controls. The spared CST axons caudal to the lesion in both animal groups derived mostly from lateral CST axons that populated the contralateral intermediate zone. Stimulation enhanced injury-dependent CST axonal outgrowth below and above the level of the injury. This dual neuromodulatory approach produced partial recovery of skilled motor behaviors that normally require integration of posture, upper limb sensory information, and intent for performance. We propose that the motor systems use these new CST projections to control movements better after injury. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Early functional impairment of sensory-motor connectivity in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Mentis, George Z; Blivis, Dvir; Liu, Wenfang; Drobac, Estelle; Crowder, Melissa E; Kong, Lingling; Alvarez, Francisco J; Sumner, Charlotte J; O'Donovan, Michael J

    2011-02-10

    To define alterations of neuronal connectivity that occur during motor neuron degeneration, we characterized the function and structure of spinal circuitry in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) model mice. SMA motor neurons show reduced proprioceptive reflexes that correlate with decreased number and function of synapses on motor neuron somata and proximal dendrites. These abnormalities occur at an early stage of disease in motor neurons innervating proximal hindlimb muscles and medial motor neurons innervating axial muscles, but only at end-stage disease in motor neurons innervating distal hindlimb muscles. Motor neuron loss follows afferent synapse loss with the same temporal and topographical pattern. Trichostatin A, which improves motor behavior and survival of SMA mice, partially restores spinal reflexes, illustrating the reversibility of these synaptic defects. Deafferentation of motor neurons is an early event in SMA and may be a primary cause of motor dysfunction that is amenable to therapeutic intervention.

  18. Early functional impairment of sensory-motor connectivity in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Mentis, George Z.; Blivis, Dvir; Liu, Wenfang; Drobac, Estelle; Crowder, Melissa E.; Kong, Lingling; Alvarez, Francisco J.; Sumner, Charlotte J.; O'Donovan, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY To define alterations of neuronal connectivity that occur during motor neuron degeneration, we characterized the function and structure of spinal circuitry in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) model mice. SMA motor neurons show reduced proprioceptive reflexes that correlate with decreased number and function of synapses on motor neuron somata and proximal dendrites. These abnormalities occur at an early stage of disease in motor neurons innervating proximal hindlimb muscles and medial motor neurons innervating axial muscles, but only at end-stage disease in motor neurons innervating distal hindlimb muscles. Motor neuron loss follows afferent synapse loss with the same temporal and topographical pattern. Trichostatin A, which improves motor behavior and survival of SMA mice, partially restores spinal reflexes illustrating the reversibility of these synaptic defects. De-afferentation of motor neurons is an early event in SMA and may be a primary cause of motor dysfunction that is amenable to therapeutic intervention. PMID:21315257

  19. Sustained Hypoxia Elicits Competing Spinal Mechanisms of Phrenic Motor Facilitation

    PubMed Central

    Devinney, Michael J.; Nichols, Nicole L.

    2016-01-01

    Acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) induces phrenic long-term facilitation (pLTF), a form of spinal motor plasticity. Competing mechanisms give rise to phrenic motor facilitation (pMF; a general term including pLTF) depending on the severity of hypoxia within episodes. In contrast, moderate acute sustained hypoxia (mASH) does not elicit pMF. By varying the severity of ASH and targeting competing mechanisms of pMF, we sought to illustrate why moderate AIH (mAIH) elicits pMF but mASH does not. Although mAIH elicits serotonin-dependent pLTF, mASH does not; thus, mAIH-induced pLTF is pattern sensitive. In contrast, severe AIH (sAIH) elicits pLTF through adenosine-dependent mechanisms, likely from greater extracellular adenosine accumulation. Because serotonin- and adenosine-dependent pMF interact via cross talk inhibition, we hypothesized that pMF is obscured because the competing mechanisms of pMF are balanced and offsetting during mASH. Here, we demonstrate the following: (1) blocking spinal A2A receptors with MSX-3 reveals mASH-induced pMF; and (2) sASH elicits A2A-dependent pMF. In anesthetized rats pretreated with intrathecal A2A receptor antagonist injections before mASH (PaO2 = 40–54 mmHg) or sASH (PaO2 = 25–36 mmHg), (1) mASH induced a serotonin-dependent pMF and (2) sASH induced an adenosine-dependent pMF, which was enhanced by spinal serotonin receptor inhibition. Thus, competing adenosine- and serotonin-dependent mechanisms contribute differentially to pMF depending on the pattern/severity of hypoxia. Understanding interactions between these mechanisms has clinical relevance as we develop therapies to treat severe neuromuscular disorders that compromise somatic motor behaviors, including breathing. Moreover, these results demonstrate how competing mechanisms of plasticity can give rise to pattern sensitivity in pLTF. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Intermittent hypoxia elicits pattern-sensitive spinal plasticity and improves motor function after spinal injury or

  20. Dopamine from the brain promotes spinal motor neuron generation during development and adult regeneration.

    PubMed

    Reimer, Michell M; Norris, Anneliese; Ohnmacht, Jochen; Patani, Rickie; Zhong, Zhen; Dias, Tatyana B; Kuscha, Veronika; Scott, Angela L; Chen, Yu-Chia; Rozov, Stanislav; Frazer, Sarah L; Wyatt, Cameron; Higashijima, Shin-ichi; Patton, E Elizabeth; Panula, Pertti; Chandran, Siddharthan; Becker, Thomas; Becker, Catherina G

    2013-06-10

    Coordinated development of brain stem and spinal target neurons is pivotal for the emergence of a precisely functioning locomotor system. Signals that match the development of these far-apart regions of the central nervous system may be redeployed during spinal cord regeneration. Here we show that descending dopaminergic projections from the brain promote motor neuron generation at the expense of V2 interneurons in the developing zebrafish spinal cord by activating the D4a receptor, which acts on the hedgehog pathway. Inhibiting this essential signal during early neurogenesis leads to a long-lasting reduction of motor neuron numbers and impaired motor responses of free-swimming larvae. Importantly, during successful spinal cord regeneration in adult zebrafish, endogenous dopamine promotes generation of spinal motor neurons, and dopamine agonists augment this process. Hence, we describe a supraspinal control mechanism for the development and regeneration of specific spinal cell types that uses dopamine as a signal.

  1. Sub-threshold spinal cord stimulation facilitates spontaneous motor activity in spinal rats

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Epidural stimulation of the spinal cord can be used to enable stepping on a treadmill (electrical enabling motor control, eEmc) after a complete mid-thoracic spinal cord transection in adult rats. Herein we have studied the effects of eEmc using a sub-threshold intensity of stimulation combined with spontaneous load-bearing proprioception to facilitate hindlimb stepping and standing during daily cage activity in paralyzed rats. Methods We hypothesized that eEmc combined with spontaneous cage activity would greatly increase the frequency and level of activation of the locomotor circuits in paralyzed rats. Spontaneous cage activity was recorded using a specially designed swivel connector to record EMG signals and an IR based camcorder to record video. Results and conclusion The spinal rats initially were very lethargic in their cages showing little movement. Without eEmc, the rats remained rather inactive with the torso rarely being elevated from the cage floor. When the rats used their forelimbs to move, the hindlimbs were extended and dragged behind with little or no flexion. In contrast, with eEmc the rats were highly active and the hindlimbs showed robust alternating flexion and extension resulting in step-like movements during forelimb-facilitated locomotion and often would stand using the sides of the cages as support. The mean and summed integrated EMG levels in both a hindlimb flexor and extensor muscle were higher with than without eEmc. These data suggest that eEmc, in combination with the associated proprioceptive input, can modulate the spinal networks to significantly amplify the amount and robustness of spontaneous motor activity in paralyzed rats. PMID:24156340

  2. Therapy induces widespread reorganization of motor cortex after complete spinal transection that supports motor recovery.

    PubMed

    Ganzer, Patrick D; Manohar, Anitha; Shumsky, Jed S; Moxon, Karen A

    2016-05-01

    Reorganization of the somatosensory system and its relationship to functional recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI) has been well studied. However, little is known about the impact of SCI on organization of the motor system. Recent studies suggest that step-training paradigms in combination with spinal stimulation, either electrically or through pharmacology, are more effective than step training alone at inducing recovery and that reorganization of descending corticospinal circuits is necessary. However, simpler, passive exercise combined with pharmacotherapy has also shown functional improvement after SCI and reorganization of, at least, the sensory cortex. In this study we assessed the effect of passive exercise and serotonergic (5-HT) pharmacological therapies on behavioral recovery and organization of the motor cortex. We compared the effects of passive hindlimb bike exercise to bike exercise combined with daily injections of 5-HT agonists in a rat model of complete mid-thoracic transection. 5-HT pharmacotherapy combined with bike exercise allowed the animals to achieve unassisted weight support in the open field. This combination of therapies also produced extensive expansion of the axial trunk motor cortex into the deafferented hindlimb motor cortex and, surprisingly, reorganization within the caudal and even the rostral forelimb motor cortex areas. The extent of the axial trunk expansion was correlated to improvement in behavioral recovery of hindlimbs during open field locomotion, including weight support. From a translational perspective, these data suggest a rationale for developing and optimizing cost-effective, non-invasive, pharmacological and passive exercise regimes to promote plasticity that supports restoration of movement after spinal cord injury.

  3. Selective loss of alpha motor neurons with sparing of gamma motor neurons and spinal cord cholinergic neurons in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Powis, Rachael A; Gillingwater, Thomas H

    2016-03-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disease characterised primarily by loss of lower motor neurons from the ventral grey horn of the spinal cord and proximal muscle atrophy. Recent experiments utilising mouse models of SMA have demonstrated that not all motor neurons are equally susceptible to the disease, revealing that other populations of neurons can also be affected. Here, we have extended investigations of selective vulnerability of neuronal populations in the spinal cord of SMA mice to include comparative assessments of alpha motor neuron (α-MN) and gamma motor neuron (γ-MN) pools, as well as other populations of cholinergic neurons. Immunohistochemical analyses of late-symptomatic SMA mouse spinal cord revealed that numbers of α-MNs were significantly reduced at all levels of the spinal cord compared with controls, whereas numbers of γ-MNs remained stable. Likewise, the average size of α-MN cell somata was decreased in SMA mice with no change occurring in γ-MNs. Evaluation of other pools of spinal cord cholinergic neurons revealed that pre-ganglionic sympathetic neurons, central canal cluster interneurons, partition interneurons and preganglionic autonomic dorsal commissural nucleus neuron numbers all remained unaffected in SMA mice. Taken together, these findings indicate that α-MNs are uniquely vulnerable among cholinergic neuron populations in the SMA mouse spinal cord, with γ-MNs and other cholinergic neuronal populations being largely spared.

  4. Gaskell revisited: new insights into spinal autonomics necessitate a revised motor neuron nomenclature.

    PubMed

    Fritzsch, Bernd; Elliott, Karen L; Glover, Joel C

    2017-08-31

    Several concepts developed in the nineteenth century have formed the basis of much of our neuroanatomical teaching today. Not all of these were based on solid evidence nor have withstood the test of time. Recent evidence on the evolution and development of the autonomic nervous system, combined with molecular insights into the development and diversification of motor neurons, challenges some of the ideas held for over 100 years about the organization of autonomic motor outflow. This review provides an overview of the original ideas and quality of supporting data and contrasts this with a more accurate and in depth insight provided by studies using modern techniques. Several lines of data demonstrate that branchial motor neurons are a distinct motor neuron population within the vertebrate brainstem, from which parasympathetic visceral motor neurons of the brainstem evolved. The lack of an autonomic nervous system in jawless vertebrates implies that spinal visceral motor neurons evolved out of spinal somatic motor neurons. Consistent with the evolutionary origin of brainstem parasympathetic motor neurons out of branchial motor neurons and spinal sympathetic motor neurons out of spinal motor neurons is the recent revision of the organization of the autonomic nervous system into a cranial parasympathetic and a spinal sympathetic division (e.g., there is no sacral parasympathetic division). We propose a new nomenclature that takes all of these new insights into account and avoids the conceptual misunderstandings and incorrect interpretation of limited and technically inferior data inherent in the old nomenclature.

  5. Selective vulnerability of spinal and cortical motor neuron subpopulations in delta7 SMA mice.

    PubMed

    d'Errico, Paolo; Boido, Marina; Piras, Antonio; Valsecchi, Valeria; De Amicis, Elena; Locatelli, Denise; Capra, Silvia; Vagni, Francesco; Vercelli, Alessandro; Battaglia, Giorgio

    2013-01-01

    Loss of the survival motor neuron gene (SMN1) is responsible for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the most common inherited cause of infant mortality. Even though the SMA phenotype is traditionally considered as related to spinal motor neuron loss, it remains debated whether the specific targeting of motor neurons could represent the best therapeutic option for the disease. We here investigated, using stereological quantification methods, the spinal cord and cerebral motor cortex of ∆7 SMA mice during development, to verify extent and selectivity of motor neuron loss. We found progressive post-natal loss of spinal motor neurons, already at pre-symptomatic stages, and a higher vulnerability of motor neurons innervating proximal and axial muscles. Larger motor neurons decreased in the course of disease, either for selective loss or specific developmental impairment. We also found a selective reduction of layer V pyramidal neurons associated with layer V gliosis in the cerebral motor cortex. Our data indicate that in the ∆7 SMA model SMN loss is critical for the spinal cord, particularly for specific motor neuron pools. Neuronal loss, however, is not selective for lower motor neurons. These data further suggest that SMA pathogenesis is likely more complex than previously anticipated. The better knowledge of SMA models might be instrumental in shaping better therapeutic options for affected patients.

  6. Recapitulation of spinal motor neuron-specific disease phenotypes in a human cell model of spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhi-Bo; Zhang, Xiaoqing; Li, Xue-Jun

    2013-01-01

    Establishing human cell models of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) to mimic motor neuron-specific phenotypes holds the key to understanding the pathogenesis of this devastating disease. Here, we developed a closely representative cell model of SMA by knocking down the disease-determining gene, survival motor neuron (SMN), in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Our study with this cell model demonstrated that knocking down of SMN does not interfere with neural induction or the initial specification of spinal motor neurons. Notably, the axonal outgrowth of spinal motor neurons was significantly impaired and these disease-mimicking neurons subsequently degenerated. Furthermore, these disease phenotypes were caused by SMN-full length (SMN-FL) but not SMN-Δ7 (lacking exon 7) knockdown, and were specific to spinal motor neurons. Restoring the expression of SMN-FL completely ameliorated all of the disease phenotypes, including specific axonal defects and motor neuron loss. Finally, knockdown of SMN-FL led to excessive mitochondrial oxidative stress in human motor neuron progenitors. The involvement of oxidative stress in the degeneration of spinal motor neurons in the SMA cell model was further confirmed by the administration of N-acetylcysteine, a potent antioxidant, which prevented disease-related apoptosis and subsequent motor neuron death. Thus, we report here the successful establishment of an hESC-based SMA model, which exhibits disease gene isoform specificity, cell type specificity, and phenotype reversibility. Our model provides a unique paradigm for studying how motor neurons specifically degenerate and highlights the potential importance of antioxidants for the treatment of SMA. PMID:23208423

  7. Recapitulation of spinal motor neuron-specific disease phenotypes in a human cell model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhi-Bo; Zhang, Xiaoqing; Li, Xue-Jun

    2013-03-01

    Establishing human cell models of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) to mimic motor neuron-specific phenotypes holds the key to understanding the pathogenesis of this devastating disease. Here, we developed a closely representative cell model of SMA by knocking down the disease-determining gene, survival motor neuron (SMN), in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Our study with this cell model demonstrated that knocking down of SMN does not interfere with neural induction or the initial specification of spinal motor neurons. Notably, the axonal outgrowth of spinal motor neurons was significantly impaired and these disease-mimicking neurons subsequently degenerated. Furthermore, these disease phenotypes were caused by SMN-full length (SMN-FL) but not SMN-Δ7 (lacking exon 7) knockdown, and were specific to spinal motor neurons. Restoring the expression of SMN-FL completely ameliorated all of the disease phenotypes, including specific axonal defects and motor neuron loss. Finally, knockdown of SMN-FL led to excessive mitochondrial oxidative stress in human motor neuron progenitors. The involvement of oxidative stress in the degeneration of spinal motor neurons in the SMA cell model was further confirmed by the administration of N-acetylcysteine, a potent antioxidant, which prevented disease-related apoptosis and subsequent motor neuron death. Thus, we report here the successful establishment of an hESC-based SMA model, which exhibits disease gene isoform specificity, cell type specificity, and phenotype reversibility. Our model provides a unique paradigm for studying how motor neurons specifically degenerate and highlights the potential importance of antioxidants for the treatment of SMA.

  8. SPINAL MEDIATION OF MOTOR LEARNING AND MEMORY IN THE RAT FETUS

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Scott R.

    2014-01-01

    Fetal rats can alter patterns of interlimb coordination after experience with a yoke that links two legs together. Yoke training results in a pronounced increase in conjugate limb movements (CLM). To determine whether yoke motor learning is mediated by spinal cord circuitry, fetal subjects at embryonic day 20 (E20) received yoke training after mid-thoracic spinal cord transection or sham surgery. Both spinal and sham-treated fetuses exhibited an increase in CLM during training. In a second experiment, fetuses received initial yoke training, then were transected or sham treated before a 2nd training. Spinal and sham fetuses that were yoked during both training sessions exhibited a more rapid rise in CLM than those yoked only in the later session. These findings indicate that motor learning in fetal rats can be supported by spinal cord circuitry alone, and that savings implies a form of motor memory localized in the spinal cord. PMID:25735558

  9. Mst-1 deficiency promotes post-traumatic spinal motor neuron survival via enhancement of autophagy flux.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Mengting; Tao, Wufan; Yuan, Zengqiang; Liu, Yaobo

    2017-08-21

    The mammalian Ste20-like kinase 1 (Mst-1) is a serine-threonine kinase and a component of the Hippo tumor suppressor pathway, which reacts to pathologically relevant stress and regulates cell death. However, little is known about its role in spinal cord injury (SCI). Here, we found that p-Mst-1, the activated form of Mst-1, was induced in the post-traumatic spinal motor neurons. In vivo evidence demonstrated that Mst-1 deficiency promoted post-traumatic spinal motor neuron survival, BMS scores, and synapse survival. Moreover, we found autophagosome formation and autolysosome degradation enhanced by Mst-1 deficiency were crucial to attenuate the death of injured spinal motor neurons. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that Mst-1 deficiency promotes post-traumatic spinal motor neuron survival via enhancement of autophagy flux. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  10. Skeletal Muscle DNA Damage Precedes Spinal Motor Neuron DNA Damage in a Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

    PubMed Central

    Fayzullina, Saniya; Martin, Lee J.

    2014-01-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a hereditary childhood disease that causes paralysis by progressive degeneration of skeletal muscles and spinal motor neurons. SMA is associated with reduced levels of full-length Survival of Motor Neuron (SMN) protein, due to mutations in the Survival of Motor Neuron 1 gene. The mechanisms by which lack of SMN causes SMA pathology are not known, making it very difficult to develop effective therapies. We investigated whether DNA damage is a perinatal pathological event in SMA, and whether DNA damage and cell death first occur in skeletal muscle or spinal cord of SMA mice. We used a mouse model of severe SMA to ascertain the extent of cell death and DNA damage throughout the body of prenatal and newborn mice. SMA mice at birth (postnatal day 0) exhibited internucleosomal fragmentation in genomic DNA from hindlimb skeletal muscle, but not in genomic DNA from spinal cord. SMA mice at postnatal day 5, compared with littermate controls, exhibited increased apoptotic cell death profiles in skeletal muscle, by hematoxylin and eosin, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling, and electron microscopy. SMA mice had no increased cell death, no loss of choline acetyl transferase (ChAT)-positive motor neurons, and no overt pathology in the ventral horn of the spinal cord. At embryonic days 13 and 15.5, SMA mice did not exhibit statistically significant increases in cell death profiles in spinal cord or skeletal muscle. Motor neuron numbers in the ventral horn, as identified by ChAT immunoreactivity, were comparable in SMA mice and control littermates at embryonic day 15.5 and postnatal day 5. These observations demonstrate that in SMA, disease in skeletal muscle emerges before pathology in spinal cord, including loss of motor neurons. Overall, this work identifies DNA damage and cell death in skeletal muscle as therapeutic targets for SMA. PMID:24667816

  11. Skeletal muscle DNA damage precedes spinal motor neuron DNA damage in a mouse model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).

    PubMed

    Fayzullina, Saniya; Martin, Lee J

    2014-01-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a hereditary childhood disease that causes paralysis by progressive degeneration of skeletal muscles and spinal motor neurons. SMA is associated with reduced levels of full-length Survival of Motor Neuron (SMN) protein, due to mutations in the Survival of Motor Neuron 1 gene. The mechanisms by which lack of SMN causes SMA pathology are not known, making it very difficult to develop effective therapies. We investigated whether DNA damage is a perinatal pathological event in SMA, and whether DNA damage and cell death first occur in skeletal muscle or spinal cord of SMA mice. We used a mouse model of severe SMA to ascertain the extent of cell death and DNA damage throughout the body of prenatal and newborn mice. SMA mice at birth (postnatal day 0) exhibited internucleosomal fragmentation in genomic DNA from hindlimb skeletal muscle, but not in genomic DNA from spinal cord. SMA mice at postnatal day 5, compared with littermate controls, exhibited increased apoptotic cell death profiles in skeletal muscle, by hematoxylin and eosin, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling, and electron microscopy. SMA mice had no increased cell death, no loss of choline acetyl transferase (ChAT)-positive motor neurons, and no overt pathology in the ventral horn of the spinal cord. At embryonic days 13 and 15.5, SMA mice did not exhibit statistically significant increases in cell death profiles in spinal cord or skeletal muscle. Motor neuron numbers in the ventral horn, as identified by ChAT immunoreactivity, were comparable in SMA mice and control littermates at embryonic day 15.5 and postnatal day 5. These observations demonstrate that in SMA, disease in skeletal muscle emerges before pathology in spinal cord, including loss of motor neurons. Overall, this work identifies DNA damage and cell death in skeletal muscle as therapeutic targets for SMA.

  12. Effects of glycine on motor performance in rats after traumatic spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Piña, Rigoberto; Nuño-Licona, Alberto

    2007-01-01

    It has been reported that glycine improves some functions lost after spinal cord injury (SCI). In order to assess the effects of glycine administration on motor performance after SCI, we used fifteen male Wistar rats distributed into three groups: sham (n = 3), spinal-cord injury (n = 6,) and spinal cord injury + glycine (n = 6). Motor performance was assessed using the beam-walking paradigm and footprint analysis. Results showed that for all animals with spinal-cord injury, scores in the beam-walking increased, which is an indication of increased motor deficit. In addition, footprint analysis showed a decrease in stride length and an increase in stride angle, additional indicators of motor deficit. These effects trended towards recovery after 8 weeks of recording and trended toward improvement by glycine administration; the effect was not significant. These results suggest that glycine replacement alone is not sufficient to improve the motor deficits that occur after SCI.

  13. A new method of isolating spinal motor neurons from fetal mouse.

    PubMed

    Wang, Weifang; Qi, Bao; Lv, Hui; Wu, Fei; Liu, Lulu; Wang, Wei; Wang, Quanquan; Hu, Liangchen; Hao, Yanlei; Wang, Yuzhong

    2017-08-15

    Isolating of primary motor neurons from animal embryos is critical for the study of neurological disease including mechanistic discovery and therapeutic development. Density gradient centrifuge taking advantage of the buoyant of motor neuron permits the enrichment of motor neurons. Despite the metrizamide, an OptiPrep medium has been introduced to separate the motor neurons by gradient centrifuge. We hereby used single density gradient of OptiPrep medium to isolate the spinal motor neurons from the fetal mouse. Single density gradient of OptiPrep medium is effective to isolate spinal motor neurons from the fetal mouse. The immunofluorescence staining analysis showed that the purity of cultured motor neurons at 72h was between 90% and 95%. Four gradients of OptiPrep medium have been previously used to isolate the motor neurons from spinal cord of mouse. In this study, the single gradient of OptiPrep medium was demonstrated to effectively isolate spinal motor neurons from the fetal mouse. The single gradient of OptiPrep medium is enough to produce high purity of spinal motor neurons from the fetal mouse. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Rebuilding motor function of the spinal cord based on functional electrical stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Xiao-yan; Du, Wei; Huang, Wei; Chen, Yi

    2016-01-01

    Rebuilding the damaged motor function caused by spinal cord injury is one of the most serious challenges in clinical neuroscience. The function of the neural pathway under the damaged sites can be rebuilt using functional electrical stimulation technology. In this study, the locations of motor function sites in the lumbosacral spinal cord were determined with functional electrical stimulation technology. A three-dimensional map of the lumbosacral spinal cord comprising the relationship between the motor function sites and the corresponding muscle was drawn. Based on the individual experimental parameters and normalized coordinates of the motor function sites, the motor function sites that control a certain muscle were calculated. Phasing pulse sequences were delivered to the determined motor function sites in the spinal cord and hip extension, hip flexion, ankle plantarflexion, and ankle dorsiflexion movements were successfully achieved. The results show that the map of the spinal cord motor function sites was valid. This map can provide guidance for the selection of electrical stimulation sites during the rebuilding of motor function after spinal cord injury. PMID:27651782

  15. Rebuilding motor function of the spinal cord based on functional electrical stimulation.

    PubMed

    Shen, Xiao-Yan; Du, Wei; Huang, Wei; Chen, Yi

    2016-08-01

    Rebuilding the damaged motor function caused by spinal cord injury is one of the most serious challenges in clinical neuroscience. The function of the neural pathway under the damaged sites can be rebuilt using functional electrical stimulation technology. In this study, the locations of motor function sites in the lumbosacral spinal cord were determined with functional electrical stimulation technology. A three-dimensional map of the lumbosacral spinal cord comprising the relationship between the motor function sites and the corresponding muscle was drawn. Based on the individual experimental parameters and normalized coordinates of the motor function sites, the motor function sites that control a certain muscle were calculated. Phasing pulse sequences were delivered to the determined motor function sites in the spinal cord and hip extension, hip flexion, ankle plantarflexion, and ankle dorsiflexion movements were successfully achieved. The results show that the map of the spinal cord motor function sites was valid. This map can provide guidance for the selection of electrical stimulation sites during the rebuilding of motor function after spinal cord injury.

  16. High yield extraction of pure spinal motor neurons, astrocytes and microglia from single embryo and adult mouse spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Beaudet, Marie-Josée; Yang, Qiurui; Cadau, Sébastien; Blais, Mathieu; Bellenfant, Sabrina; Gros-Louis, François; Berthod, François

    2015-01-01

    Extraction of mouse spinal motor neurons from transgenic mouse embryos recapitulating some aspects of neurodegenerative diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has met with limited success. Furthermore, extraction and long-term culture of adult mouse spinal motor neurons and glia remain also challenging. We present here a protocol designed to extract and purify high yields of motor neurons and glia from individual spinal cords collected on embryos and adult (5-month-old) normal or transgenic mice. This method is based on mild digestion of tissue followed by gradient density separation allowing to obtain two millions motor neurons over 92% pure from one E14.5 single embryo and more than 30,000 from an adult mouse. These cells can be cultured more than 14 days in vitro at a density of 100,000 cells/cm2 to maintain optimal viability. Functional astrocytes and microglia and small gamma motor neurons can be purified at the same time. This protocol will be a powerful and reliable method to obtain motor neurons and glia to better understand mechanisms underlying spinal cord diseases. PMID:26577180

  17. Spinal microcircuits comprising dI3 interneurons are necessary for motor functional recovery following spinal cord transection

    PubMed Central

    Bui, Tuan V; Stifani, Nicolas; Akay, Turgay; Brownstone, Robert M

    2016-01-01

    The spinal cord has the capacity to coordinate motor activities such as locomotion. Following spinal transection, functional activity can be regained, to a degree, following motor training. To identify microcircuits involved in this recovery, we studied a population of mouse spinal interneurons known to receive direct afferent inputs and project to intermediate and ventral regions of the spinal cord. We demonstrate that while dI3 interneurons are not necessary for normal locomotor activity, locomotor circuits rhythmically inhibit them and dI3 interneurons can activate these circuits. Removing dI3 interneurons from spinal microcircuits by eliminating their synaptic transmission left locomotion more or less unchanged, but abolished functional recovery, indicating that dI3 interneurons are a necessary cellular substrate for motor system plasticity following transection. We suggest that dI3 interneurons compare inputs from locomotor circuits with sensory afferent inputs to compute sensory prediction errors that then modify locomotor circuits to effect motor recovery. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.21715.001 PMID:27977000

  18. Augmentation of Voluntary Locomotor Activity by Transcutaneous Spinal Cord Stimulation in Motor-Incomplete Spinal Cord-Injured Individuals.

    PubMed

    Hofstoetter, Ursula S; Krenn, Matthias; Danner, Simon M; Hofer, Christian; Kern, Helmut; McKay, William B; Mayr, Winfried; Minassian, Karen

    2015-10-01

    The level of sustainable excitability within lumbar spinal cord circuitries is one of the factors determining the functional outcome of locomotor therapy after motor-incomplete spinal cord injury. Here, we present initial data using noninvasive transcutaneous lumbar spinal cord stimulation (tSCS) to modulate this central state of excitability during voluntary treadmill stepping in three motor-incomplete spinal cord-injured individuals. Stimulation was applied at 30 Hz with an intensity that generated tingling sensations in the lower limb dermatomes, yet without producing muscle reflex activity. This stimulation changed muscle activation, gait kinematics, and the amount of manual assistance required from the therapists to maintain stepping with some interindividual differences. The effect on motor outputs during treadmill-stepping was essentially augmentative and step-phase dependent despite the invariant tonic stimulation. The most consistent modification was found in the gait kinematics, with the hip flexion during swing increased by 11.3° ± 5.6° across all subjects. This preliminary work suggests that tSCS provides for a background increase in activation of the lumbar spinal locomotor circuitry that has partially lost its descending drive. Voluntary inputs and step-related feedback build upon the stimulation-induced increased state of excitability in the generation of locomotor activity. Thus, tSCS essentially works as an electrical neuroprosthesis augmenting remaining motor control. Copyright © 2015 International Center for Artificial Organs and Transplantation and Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Sensory feedback synchronizes motor and sensory neuronal networks in the neonatal rat spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Inácio, Ana R; Nasretdinov, Azat; Lebedeva, Julia; Khazipov, Roustem

    2016-10-07

    Early stages of sensorimotor system development in mammals are characterized by the occurrence of spontaneous movements. Whether and how these movements support correlated activity in developing sensorimotor spinal cord circuits remains unknown. Here we show highly correlated activity in sensory and motor zones in the spinal cord of neonatal rats in vivo. Both during twitches and complex movements, movement-generating bursts in motor zones are followed by bursts in sensory zones. Deafferentation does not affect activity in motor zones and movements, but profoundly suppresses activity bursts in sensory laminae and results in sensorimotor uncoupling, implying a primary role of sensory feedback in sensorimotor synchronization. This is further supported by largely dissociated activity in sensory and motor zones observed in the isolated spinal cord in vitro. Thus, sensory feedback resulting from spontaneous movements is instrumental for coordination of activity in developing sensorimotor spinal cord circuits.

  20. Sensory feedback synchronizes motor and sensory neuronal networks in the neonatal rat spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Inácio, Ana R.; Nasretdinov, Azat; Lebedeva, Julia; Khazipov, Roustem

    2016-01-01

    Early stages of sensorimotor system development in mammals are characterized by the occurrence of spontaneous movements. Whether and how these movements support correlated activity in developing sensorimotor spinal cord circuits remains unknown. Here we show highly correlated activity in sensory and motor zones in the spinal cord of neonatal rats in vivo. Both during twitches and complex movements, movement-generating bursts in motor zones are followed by bursts in sensory zones. Deafferentation does not affect activity in motor zones and movements, but profoundly suppresses activity bursts in sensory laminae and results in sensorimotor uncoupling, implying a primary role of sensory feedback in sensorimotor synchronization. This is further supported by largely dissociated activity in sensory and motor zones observed in the isolated spinal cord in vitro. Thus, sensory feedback resulting from spontaneous movements is instrumental for coordination of activity in developing sensorimotor spinal cord circuits. PMID:27713428

  1. The Correlation Between Recordable MEPs and Motor Function During Spinal Surgery for Resection of Thoracic Spinal Cord Tumor.

    PubMed

    Guo, LanJun; Li, Yan; Han, Ruquan; Gelb, Adrian W

    2016-11-15

    Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) are commonly used during surgery for spinal cord tumor resection. However, it can be difficult to record reliable MEPs from the muscles of the lower extremities during surgery in patients with preoperative weakness due to spinal cord compression. In this study, motor function of patients' lower extremities and their association with intraoperative MEP recording were compared. Patients undergoing thoracic spinal cord tumor resection were studied. Patients' motor function was checked immediately before the surgical procedure. MEP responses were recorded from the tibialis anterior and foot muscles, and the hand muscles were used as control. Electrical current with train of eight pulses, 200 to 500 V was delivered through 2 corkscrews placed at C3' and C4' sites. Anesthesia was maintained by total intravenous anesthesia using a combination of propofol and remifentanil after induction with intravenous propofol, remifentanil, and rocuronium. Rocuronium was not repeated. Bispectral Index was maintained between 40 to 50. From 178 lower limbs of 89 patients, myogenic MEPs could be recorded from 100% (105/105) of the patients with 5 of 5 motor strength in lower extremity; 90% (36/40) from the patients with 4/5 motor strength; only 25% (5/20) with 3/5; and 12.5% (1/8) with 2/5 motor strength; none (0/5) were able to be recorded if the motor strength was 1/5. The ability to record myogenic MEPs is closely associated with the patient's motor function. They are difficult to obtain if motor function is 3/5 motor strength in the lower extremity. They are almost impossible to record if motor function is worse than 3/5.

  2. Magnetic resonance imaging and motor-evoked potentials in spinal cord infarction: report of two cases.

    PubMed

    Nardone, Raffaele; Bergmann, Jürgen; Kronbichler, Martin; Lochner, Piergiorgio; Caleri, Francesca; Tezzon, Frediano; Ladurner, Gunther; Golaszewski, Stefan

    2010-08-01

    Because in the early phases of spinal cord ischemia magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be normal, its clinical diagnosis is often difficult. We aimed to explore if motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) recordings may contribute to earlier diagnosis of spinal cord stroke. The clinical, MRI, and MEP findings in one case each of cervical and lumbar spinal cord infarction were reported. Spinal MRI at admission was unremarkable in both patients. At this time, MEPs were abnormal in both patients, to the upper and lower limbs in the first patient, exclusively to the lower limbs in the second. Follow-up MRI examinations documented an infarction in the territory of the anterior spinal artery and of the Adamkiewicz artery, respectively. MEP study can be useful in demonstrating spinal cord involvement also when radiological evidence for spinal cord damage is absent or equivocal. Early diagnosis may allow earlier intervention and contribute to improved patient management.

  3. Cortical and vestibular stimulation reveal preserved descending motor pathways in individuals with motor-complete spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Squair, Jordan W; Bjerkefors, Anna; Inglis, J Timothy; Lam, Tania; Carpenter, Mark G

    2016-07-18

    To use a combination of electrophysiological techniques to determine the extent of preserved muscle activity below the clinically-defined level of motor-complete spinal cord injury. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials were used to investigate whether there was any preserved muscle activity in trunk, hip and leg muscles of 16 individuals with motor-complete spinal cord injury (C4-T12) and 16 able-bodied matched controls. Most individuals (14/16) with motor-complete spinal cord injury were found to have transcranial magnetic stimulation evoked, and/or voluntary evoked muscle activity in muscles innervated below the clinically classified lesion level. In most cases voluntary muscle activation was accompanied by a present transcranial magnetic stimulation response. Furthermore, motor-evoked potentials to transcranial magnetic stimulation could be observed in muscles that could not be voluntarily activated. Vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials responses were also observed in a small number of subjects, indicating the potential preservation of other descending pathways. These results highlight the importance of using multiple electrophysiological techniques to assist in determining the potential preservation of muscle activity below the clinically-defined level of injury in individuals with a motor-complete spinal cord injury. These techniques may provide clinicians with more accurate information about the state of various motor pathways, and could offer a method to more accurately target rehabilitation.

  4. Spinal motor outputs during step-to-step transitions of diverse human gaits

    PubMed Central

    La Scaleia, Valentina; Ivanenko, Yuri P.; Zelik, Karl E.; Lacquaniti, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    Aspects of human motor control can be inferred from the coordination of muscles during movement. For instance, by combining multimuscle electromyographic (EMG) recordings with human neuroanatomy, it is possible to estimate alpha-motoneuron (MN) pool activations along the spinal cord. It has previously been shown that the spinal motor output fluctuates with the body's center-of-mass motion, with bursts of activity around foot-strike and foot lift-off during walking. However, it is not known whether these MN bursts are generalizable to other ambulation tasks, nor is it clear if the spatial locus of the activity (along the rostrocaudal axis of the spinal cord) is fixed or variable. Here we sought to address these questions by investigating the spatiotemporal characteristics of the spinal motor output during various tasks: walking forward, backward, tiptoe and uphill. We reconstructed spinal maps from 26 leg muscle EMGs, including some intrinsic foot muscles. We discovered that the various walking tasks shared qualitative similarities in their temporal spinal activation profiles, exhibiting peaks around foot-strike and foot-lift. However, we also observed differences in the segmental level and intensity of spinal activations, particularly following foot-strike. For example, forward level-ground walking exhibited a mean motor output roughly 2 times lower than the other gaits. Finally, we found that the reconstruction of the spinal motor output from multimuscle EMG recordings was relatively insensitive to the subset of muscles analyzed. In summary, our results suggested temporal similarities, but spatial differences in the segmental spinal motor outputs during the step-to-step transitions of disparate walking behaviors. PMID:24860484

  5. Daily stepping in individuals with motor incomplete spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Saraf, Poonam; Rafferty, Miriam R; Moore, Jennifer L; Kahn, Jennifer H; Hendron, Kathryn; Leech, Kristan; Hornby, T George

    2010-02-01

    In individuals with motor incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI), ambulatory function determined in the clinical setting is related to specific measures of body structure and function and activity limitations, although few studies have quantified the relationship of these variables with daily stepping (steps/day). The aim of this study was to quantify daily stepping in ambulatory individuals with SCI and its relationship with clinical walking performance measures and specific demographics, impairments, and activity limitations. A cross-sectional study was performed to estimate relationships among clinical variables to daily stepping in self-identified community versus non-community (household) walkers. Average daily stepping was determined in 50 people with chronic, motor incomplete SCI. Data for clinical and self-report measures of walking performance also were collected, and their associations with daily stepping were analyzed using correlation and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses. Relationships between daily stepping and the measures of demographics, impairments, and activity limitations were identified using correlation and regression analyses. The ROC analyses revealed a significant discriminative ability between self-reported community and non-community walkers using clinical gait measures and daily stepping. Stepping activity generally was low throughout the sample tested, however, with an average of approximately 2,600 steps/day. Knee extension strength (force-generating capacity) and static balance were the primary variables related to daily stepping, with metabolic efficiency and capacity and balance confidence contributing to a lesser extent. The small sample size and use of specific impairment-related measures were potential limitations of the study. Daily stepping is extremely limited in individuals with incomplete SCI, with a potentially substantial contribution of impairments in knee extension strength and balance.

  6. Targeted, activity-dependent spinal stimulation produces long-lasting motor recovery in chronic cervical spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    McPherson, Jacob G; Miller, Robert R; Perlmutter, Steve I

    2015-09-29

    Use-dependent movement therapies can lead to partial recovery of motor function after neurological injury. We attempted to improve recovery by developing a neuroprosthetic intervention that enhances movement therapy by directing spike timing-dependent plasticity in spared motor pathways. Using a recurrent neural-computer interface in rats with a cervical contusion of the spinal cord, we synchronized intraspinal microstimulation below the injury with the arrival of functionally related volitional motor commands signaled by muscle activity in the impaired forelimb. Stimulation was delivered during physical retraining of a forelimb behavior and throughout the day for 3 mo. Rats receiving this targeted, activity-dependent spinal stimulation (TADSS) exhibited markedly enhanced recovery compared with animals receiving targeted but open-loop spinal stimulation and rats receiving physical retraining alone. On a forelimb reach and grasp task, TADSS animals recovered 63% of their preinjury ability, more than two times the performance level achieved by the other therapy groups. Therapeutic gains were maintained for 3 additional wk without stimulation. The results suggest that activity-dependent spinal stimulation can induce neural plasticity that improves behavioral recovery after spinal cord injury.

  7. Shared versus specialized glycinergic spinal interneurons in axial motor circuits of larval zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Liao, James C.; Fetcho, Joseph R.

    2008-01-01

    The neuronal networks in spinal cord can produce a diverse array of motor behaviors. In aquatic vertebrates such as fishes and tadpoles, these include escape behaviors, swimming across a range of speeds, and struggling. We addressed the question of whether these behaviors are accomplished by a shared set of spinal interneurons activated in different patterns or, instead, involve specialized spinal interneurons that may shape the motor output to produce particular behaviors. We used larval zebrafish because they are capable of several distinct axial motor behaviors using a common periphery and a relatively small set of spinal neurons, easing the task of exploring the extent to which cell types are specialized for particular motor patterns. We performed targeted in vivo whole-cell patch recordings in 3 day post fertilization larvae to reveal the activity pattern of four commissural glycinergic interneuron types during escape, swimming and struggling behaviors. While some neuronal classes were shared among different motor patterns, we found others that were active only during a single one. These specialized neurons had morphological and functional properties consistent with a role in shaping key features of the motor behavior in which they were active. Our results, in combination with other evidence from excitatory interneurons, support the idea that patterns of activity in a core network of shared spinal neurons may be shaped by more specialized interneurons to produce an assortment of motor behaviors. PMID:19036991

  8. Electronic bypass of spinal lesions: activation of lower motor neurons directly driven by cortical neural signals

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Lower motor neurons in the spinal cord lose supraspinal inputs after complete spinal cord injury, leading to a loss of volitional control below the injury site. Extensive locomotor training with spinal cord stimulation can restore locomotion function after spinal cord injury in humans and animals. However, this locomotion is non-voluntary, meaning that subjects cannot control stimulation via their natural “intent”. A recent study demonstrated an advanced system that triggers a stimulator using forelimb stepping electromyographic patterns to restore quadrupedal walking in rats with spinal cord transection. However, this indirect source of “intent” may mean that other non-stepping forelimb activities may false-trigger the spinal stimulator and thus produce unwanted hindlimb movements. Methods We hypothesized that there are distinguishable neural activities in the primary motor cortex during treadmill walking, even after low-thoracic spinal transection in adult guinea pigs. We developed an electronic spinal bridge, called “Motolink”, which detects these neural patterns and triggers a “spinal” stimulator for hindlimb movement. This hardware can be head-mounted or carried in a backpack. Neural data were processed in real-time and transmitted to a computer for analysis by an embedded processor. Off-line neural spike analysis was conducted to calculate and preset the spike threshold for “Motolink” hardware. Results We identified correlated activities of primary motor cortex neurons during treadmill walking of guinea pigs with spinal cord transection. These neural activities were used to predict the kinematic states of the animals. The appropriate selection of spike threshold value enabled the “Motolink” system to detect the neural “intent” of walking, which triggered electrical stimulation of the spinal cord and induced stepping-like hindlimb movements. Conclusion We present a direct cortical “intent”-driven electronic spinal

  9. Extensive Fusion of Mitochondria in Spinal Cord Motor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Owens, Geoffrey C.; Walcott, Elisabeth C.

    2012-01-01

    The relative roles played by trafficking, fission and fusion in the dynamics of mitochondria in neurons have not been fully elucidated. In the present study, a slow widespread redistribution of mitochondria within cultured spinal cord motor neurons was observed as a result of extensive organelle fusion. Mitochondria were labeled with a photoconvertible fluorescent protein (mitoKaede) that is red-shifted following brief irradiation with blue light. The behavior of these selectively labeled mitochondria was followed by live fluorescence imaging. Marking mitochondria within the cell soma revealed a complete mixing, within 18 hours, of these organelles with mitochondria coming from the surrounding neurites. Fusion of juxtaposed mitochondria was directly observed in neuritic processes at least 200 microns from the cell body. Within 24 hours, photoconverted mitoKaede was dispersed to all of the mitochondria in the portion of neurite under observation. When time lapse imaging over minutes was combined with long-term observation of marked mitochondria, moving organelles that traversed the field of view did not initially contain photoconverted protein, but after several hours organelles in motion contained both fluorescent proteins, coincident with widespread fusion of all of the mitochondria within the length of neurite under observation. These observations suggest that there is a widespread exchange of mitochondrial components throughout a neuron as a result of organelle fusion. PMID:22701641

  10. Extensive fusion of mitochondria in spinal cord motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Owens, Geoffrey C; Walcott, Elisabeth C

    2012-01-01

    The relative roles played by trafficking, fission and fusion in the dynamics of mitochondria in neurons have not been fully elucidated. In the present study, a slow widespread redistribution of mitochondria within cultured spinal cord motor neurons was observed as a result of extensive organelle fusion. Mitochondria were labeled with a photoconvertible fluorescent protein (mitoKaede) that is red-shifted following brief irradiation with blue light. The behavior of these selectively labeled mitochondria was followed by live fluorescence imaging. Marking mitochondria within the cell soma revealed a complete mixing, within 18 hours, of these organelles with mitochondria coming from the surrounding neurites. Fusion of juxtaposed mitochondria was directly observed in neuritic processes at least 200 microns from the cell body. Within 24 hours, photoconverted mitoKaede was dispersed to all of the mitochondria in the portion of neurite under observation. When time lapse imaging over minutes was combined with long-term observation of marked mitochondria, moving organelles that traversed the field of view did not initially contain photoconverted protein, but after several hours organelles in motion contained both fluorescent proteins, coincident with widespread fusion of all of the mitochondria within the length of neurite under observation. These observations suggest that there is a widespread exchange of mitochondrial components throughout a neuron as a result of organelle fusion.

  11. Targeting Motor End Plates for Delivery of Adenoviruses: An Approach to Maximize Uptake and Transduction of Spinal Cord Motor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Tosolini, Andrew Paul; Morris, Renée

    2016-01-01

    Gene therapy can take advantage of the skeletal muscles/motor neurons anatomical relationship to restrict gene expression to the spinal cord ventral horn. Furthermore, recombinant adenoviruses are attractive viral-vectors as they permit spatial and temporal modulation of transgene expression. In the literature, however, several inconsistencies exist with regard to the intramuscular delivery parameters of adenoviruses. The present study is an evaluation of the optimal injection sites on skeletal muscle, time course of expression and mice’s age for maximum transgene expression in motor neurons. Targeting motor end plates yielded a 2.5-fold increase in the number of transduced motor neurons compared to injections performed away from this region. Peak adenoviral transgene expression in motor neurons was detected after seven days. Further, greater numbers of transduced motor neurons were found in juvenile (3–7 week old) mice as compared with adults (8+ weeks old). Adenoviral injections produced robust transgene expression in motor neurons and skeletal myofibres. In addition, dendrites of transduced motor neurons were shown to extend well into the white matter where the descending motor pathways are located. These results also provide evidence that intramuscular delivery of adenovirus can be a suitable gene therapy approach to treat spinal cord injury. PMID:27619631

  12. Regeneration of descending projections to the spinal motor neurons after spinal hemisection in the goldfish.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Akihito; Goris, Richard C; Funakoshi, Kengo

    2007-06-25

    Following spinal transection, descending spinal projections from goldfish brainstem neurons spontaneously regenerate beyond the lesion site. The nucleus of the medial longitudinal fasciculus (nFLM), which has a critical role in swimming, also sends regenerated axons over a long distance to the ipsilateral spinal cord. To examine whether regenerated axons re-innervate the appropriate targets, we injected rhodamine dextran amine (RDA) into the nFLM of spinally transected goldfish and examined anterogradely labeled axons in the spinal cord. In intact controls, there were many RDA-labeled boutons or varicosities in the spinal cord in close apposition to both neurons positive for calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), and those negative for CGRP. This suggests that the nFLM neurons project axons directly to the motoneurons and interneurons in the spinal cord. Four days after hemisection 1 mm caudal to the rostral end of the spinal cord, the number of RDA-labeled boutons in close apposition to the spinal neurons was significantly decreased on the side ipsilateral to the injection. Six to twelve weeks after spinal hemisection, regenerated axons ran through the repaired lesion site, and the number of RDA-labeled boutons or varicosities in close apposition to the ipsilateral spinal neurons had returned to the control level. These findings suggest that the midbrain-spinal pathway, critical for locomotion in fish, spontaneously regenerates beyond the lesion site to re-innervate the appropriately innervated targets after spinal lesion.

  13. Significance of intraoperative motor function monitoring using transcranial electrical motor evoked potentials (MEP) in patients with spinal and cranial lesions near the motor pathways.

    PubMed

    Krammer, Matthias Johannes; Wolf, Stefan; Schul, David Baruch; Gerstner, Werner; Lumenta, Christianto Bernardo

    2009-02-01

    Intraoperative motor evoked potential (MEP) monitoring in patients with spinal and cranial lesions is thought to be a valuable tool for prevention of postoperative motor deficits. Aim of this study was to investigate its diagnostic value in a spinal and a cranial patient group. Ninety-six patients, 31 with spinal and 65 with intracranial lesions, were studied. Transcranial stimulation was performed with a high-frequency electrical train stimulation using two subdermal needle electrodes. MEPs were recorded from the pathology-related muscles. Decreasing amplitudes of 50% or more, increasing stimulus intensities of 20% or more or increased latencies were taken as warning criteria. MEP recording was possible in 90% of the spinal and 98% of the cranial group. With two further exclusions, 28 patients of the spinal and 62 of the cranial group were analyzed. We saw a temporary maximum amplitude reduction of 50% or more and an increase in stimulation intensity of 20% or more in 8 spinal and 29 cranial patients. Five of the spinal and nine of the cranial patients deteriorated in motor function postoperatively. One patient with normal MEP monitoring showed a temporary motor weakness postoperatively. Latencies were normal in all patients. Given both warning criteria, intraoperative MEP changes had a sensitivity of 83%/ 100% and a specificity of 86%/ 62% (spinal/ cranial group). The positive predictive value of MEP changes for postoperative motor function deterioration was 63%/ 31%, and the negative predictive value was 95%/ 100%. Transcranial electrical monitoring of MEP is a practicable and safe method. However, there are many events, which can cause amplitude changes of MEP independent from surgical manipulations. Although sensitivity is high for both groups, this results in a moderate specificity for the cranial group and a low positive predictive value for both groups.

  14. Identification and characterization of a cell surface marker for embryonic rat spinal accessory motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Schubert, W; Kaprielian, Z

    2001-10-22

    The developing mammalian spinal cord contains distinct populations of motor neurons that can be distinguished by their cell body positions, by the expression of specific combinations of regulatory genes, and by the paths that their axons take to exit the central nervous system (CNS). Subclasses of spinal motor neurons are also thought to express specific cell surface proteins that function as receptors which control the guidance of their axons. We identified monoclonal antibody (mAb) SAC1 in a screen aimed at generating markers for specific subsets of neurons/axons in the developing rat spinal cord. During early embryogenesis, mAb SAC1 selectively labels a small subset of Isl1-positive motor neurons located exclusively within cervical segments of the spinal cord. Strikingly, these neurons extend mAb SAC1-positive axons along a dorsally directed trajectory toward the lateral exit points. Consistent with the finding that mAb SAC1 also labels spinal accessory nerves, these observations identify mAb SAC1 as a specific marker of spinal accessory motor neurons/axons. During later stages of embryogenesis, mAb SAC1 is transiently expressed on both dorsally and ventrally projecting spinal motor neurons/axons. Interestingly, mAb SAC1 also labels the notochord and floor plate during most stages of spinal cord development. The mAb SAC1 antigen is a 100-kD glycoprotein that is likely to be the rat homolog of SC1/BEN/DM-GRASP, a homophilic adhesion molecule that mediates axon outgrowth and fasciculation.

  15. Simultaneous Brain-Cervical Cord fMRI Reveals Intrinsic Spinal Cord Plasticity during Motor Sequence Learning.

    PubMed

    Vahdat, Shahabeddin; Lungu, Ovidiu; Cohen-Adad, Julien; Marchand-Pauvert, Veronique; Benali, Habib; Doyon, Julien

    2015-06-01

    The spinal cord participates in the execution of skilled movements by translating high-level cerebral motor representations into musculotopic commands. Yet, the extent to which motor skill acquisition relies on intrinsic spinal cord processes remains unknown. To date, attempts to address this question were limited by difficulties in separating spinal local effects from supraspinal influences through traditional electrophysiological and neuroimaging methods. Here, for the first time, we provide evidence for local learning-induced plasticity in intact human spinal cord through simultaneous functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and spinal cord during motor sequence learning. Specifically, we show learning-related modulation of activity in the C6-C8 spinal region, which is independent from that of related supraspinal sensorimotor structures. Moreover, a brain-spinal cord functional connectivity analysis demonstrates that the initial linear relationship between the spinal cord and sensorimotor cortex gradually fades away over the course of motor sequence learning, while the connectivity between spinal activity and cerebellum gains strength. These data suggest that the spinal cord not only constitutes an active functional component of the human motor learning network but also contributes distinctively from the brain to the learning process. The present findings open new avenues for rehabilitation of patients with spinal cord injuries, as they demonstrate that this part of the central nervous system is much more plastic than assumed before. Yet, the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying this intrinsic functional plasticity in the spinal cord warrant further investigations.

  16. Simultaneous Brain–Cervical Cord fMRI Reveals Intrinsic Spinal Cord Plasticity during Motor Sequence Learning

    PubMed Central

    Cohen-Adad, Julien; Marchand-Pauvert, Veronique; Benali, Habib; Doyon, Julien

    2015-01-01

    The spinal cord participates in the execution of skilled movements by translating high-level cerebral motor representations into musculotopic commands. Yet, the extent to which motor skill acquisition relies on intrinsic spinal cord processes remains unknown. To date, attempts to address this question were limited by difficulties in separating spinal local effects from supraspinal influences through traditional electrophysiological and neuroimaging methods. Here, for the first time, we provide evidence for local learning-induced plasticity in intact human spinal cord through simultaneous functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and spinal cord during motor sequence learning. Specifically, we show learning-related modulation of activity in the C6–C8 spinal region, which is independent from that of related supraspinal sensorimotor structures. Moreover, a brain–spinal cord functional connectivity analysis demonstrates that the initial linear relationship between the spinal cord and sensorimotor cortex gradually fades away over the course of motor sequence learning, while the connectivity between spinal activity and cerebellum gains strength. These data suggest that the spinal cord not only constitutes an active functional component of the human motor learning network but also contributes distinctively from the brain to the learning process. The present findings open new avenues for rehabilitation of patients with spinal cord injuries, as they demonstrate that this part of the central nervous system is much more plastic than assumed before. Yet, the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying this intrinsic functional plasticity in the spinal cord warrant further investigations. PMID:26125597

  17. Extent of spontaneous motor recovery after traumatic cervical sensorimotor complete spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Steeves, J D; Kramer, J K; Fawcett, J W; Cragg, J; Lammertse, D P; Blight, A R; Marino, R J; Ditunno, J F; Coleman, W P; Geisler, F H; Guest, J; Jones, L; Burns, S; Schubert, M; van Hedel, H J A; Curt, A

    2011-02-01

    Retrospective, longitudinal analysis of motor recovery data from individuals with cervical (C4-C7) sensorimotor complete spinal cord injury (SCI) according to the International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI). To analyze the extent and patterns of spontaneous motor recovery over the first year after traumatic cervical sensorimotor complete SCI. Datasets from the European multicenter study about SCI (EMSCI) and the Sygen randomized clinical trial were examined for conversion of American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale (AIS) grade, change in upper extremity motor score (UEMS) or motor level, as well as relationships between these measures. There were no overall differences between the EMSCI and Sygen datasets in motor recovery patterns. After 1 year, up to 70% of subjects spontaneously recovered at least one motor level, but only 30% recovered two or more motor levels, with lesser values at intermediate time points. AIS grade conversion did not significantly influence motor level changes. At 1 year, the average spontaneous improvement in bilateral UEMS was 10-11 motor points. There was only moderate relationship between a change in UEMS and a change in cervical motor level (r(2)=0.30, P<0.05). Regardless of initial cervical motor level, most individuals recover a similar number of motor points or motor levels. Careful tracking of cervical motor recovery outcomes may provide the necessary sensitivity and accuracy to reliably detect a subtle, but meaningful treatment effect after sensorimotor complete cervical SCI. The distribution of the UEMS change may be more important functionally than the total UEMS recovered.

  18. Serotonin Promotes Development and Regeneration of Spinal Motor Neurons in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Barreiro-Iglesias, Antón; Mysiak, Karolina S; Scott, Angela L; Reimer, Michell M; Yang, Yujie; Becker, Catherina G; Becker, Thomas

    2015-11-03

    In contrast to mammals, zebrafish regenerate spinal motor neurons. During regeneration, developmental signals are re-deployed. Here, we show that, during development, diffuse serotonin promotes spinal motor neuron generation from pMN progenitor cells, leaving interneuron numbers unchanged. Pharmacological manipulations and receptor knockdown indicate that serotonin acts at least in part via 5-HT1A receptors. In adults, serotonin is supplied to the spinal cord mainly (90%) by descending axons from the brain. After a spinal lesion, serotonergic axons degenerate caudal to the lesion but sprout rostral to it. Toxin-mediated ablation of serotonergic axons also rostral to the lesion impaired regeneration of motor neurons only there. Conversely, intraperitoneal serotonin injections doubled numbers of new motor neurons and proliferating pMN-like progenitors caudal to the lesion. Regeneration of spinal-intrinsic serotonergic interneurons was unaltered by these manipulations. Hence, serotonin selectively promotes the development and adult regeneration of motor neurons in zebrafish. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Relationship between motor recovery and independence after sensorimotor-complete cervical spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Kramer, John L K; Lammertse, Daniel P; Schubert, Martin; Curt, Armin; Steeves, John D

    2012-01-01

    For therapeutics directed to the injured spinal cord, a change in neurological impairment has been proposed as a relevant acute clinical study end point. However, changes in neurological function, even if statistically significant, may not be associated with a functional impact, such as a meaningful improvement in items within the self-care subscore of the Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM). The authors examined the functional significance associated with spontaneously recovering upper-extremity motor function after sensorimotor-complete cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). Using the European Multi-center Study about Spinal Cord Injury (EMSCI) data set, a retrospective analysis was undertaken of individuals with cervical sensorimotor-complete SCI (initial motor level, C4-C7). Specifically, changes in upper-extremity motor score (UEMS), motor level, and SCIM (total and self-care subscore) were assessed between approximately 1 and 48 weeks after injury (n = 74). The initial motor level did not significantly influence the total UEMS recovered or number of motor levels recovered. SCIM self-care subscore recovery was significantly greater for those individuals regaining 2 motor levels compared with those recovering only 1 or no motor levels. However, the recovery in the SCIM self-care subscore was not significantly different between individuals recovering only 1 motor level and those individuals who showed no motor-level improvement. A 2 motor-level improvement indicates a clinically meaningful change and might be considered a primary outcome in acute and subacute interventional trials enrolling individuals with cervical sensorimotor-complete SCI.

  20. [Vascular and autonomic disorders of the spinal cord in dystopia of the spinal motor segment].

    PubMed

    Gongal'skiĭ, V V; Kuftyreva, T P

    1992-01-01

    Microcirculation disorders may cause functional deviation in gray matter cells of the spinal cord. One of the setting moments of the disorders is the subluxation of a vertebra as a result of the disturbance in carrying ability of the spinal disc in case of spinal osteochondrosis. In this position the soft tissues of the spinal motional well innervated segment are stretched, which induces irritation in the segmental part of the spinal cord including vegetative nervous structures. Subluxation of a vertebra causes changes in the structures and in the microcirculation vessels which grow simultaneously and this permits supposing their interrelation.

  1. The organization of spinal motor neurons in a monotreme is consistent with a six-region schema of the mammalian spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Mitchelle, Amer; Watson, Charles

    2016-09-01

    The motor neurons in the spinal cord of an echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) have been mapped in Nissl-stained sections from spinal cord segments defined by spinal nerve anatomy. A medial motor column of motor neurons is found at all spinal cord levels, and a hypaxial column is found at most levels. The organization of the motor neuron clusters in the lateral motor column of the brachial (C5 to T3) and crural (L2 to S3) limb enlargements is very similar to the pattern previously revealed by retrograde tracing in placental mammals, and the motor neuron clusters have been tentatively identified according to the muscle groups they are likely to supply. The region separating the two limb enlargements (T4 to L1) contains preganglionic motor neurons that appear to represent the spinal sympathetic outflow. Immediately caudal to the crural limb enlargement is a short column of preganglionic motor neurons (S3 to S4), which it is believed represents the pelvic parasympathetic outflow. The rostral and caudal ends of the spinal cord contain neither a lateral motor column nor a preganglionic column. Branchial motor neurons (which are believed to supply the sternomastoid and trapezius muscles) are present at the lateral margin of the ventral horn in rostral cervical segments (C2-C4). These same segments contain the phrenic nucleus, which belongs to the hypaxial column. The presence or absence of the main spinal motor neuron columns in the different regions echidna spinal cord (and also in that of other amniote vertebrates) provides a basis for dividing the spinal cord into six main regions - prebrachial, brachial, postbrachial, crural, postcrural and caudal. The considerable biological and functional significance of this subdivision pattern is supported by recent studies on spinal cord hox gene expression in chicks and mice. On the other hand, the familiar 'segments' of the spinal cord are defined only by the anatomy of adjacent vertebrae, and are not demarcated by intrinsic gene

  2. Spinal muscular atrophy and the antiapoptotic role of survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein.

    PubMed

    Anderton, Ryan S; Meloni, Bruno P; Mastaglia, Frank L; Boulos, Sherif

    2013-04-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a devastating and often fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects spinal motor neurons and leads to progressive muscle wasting and paralysis. The survival of motor neuron (SMN) gene is mutated or deleted in most forms of SMA, which results in a critical reduction in SMN protein. Motor neurons appear particularly vulnerable to reduced SMN protein levels. Therefore, understanding the functional role of SMN in protecting motor neurons from degeneration is an essential prerequisite for the design of effective therapies for SMA. To this end, there is increasing evidence indicating a key regulatory antiapoptotic role for the SMN protein that is important in motor neuron survival. The aim of this review is to highlight key findings that support an antiapoptotic role for SMN in modulating cell survival and raise possibilities for new therapeutic approaches.

  3. A novel cortical target to enhance hand motor output in humans with spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Long, Jinyi; Federico, Paolo; Perez, Monica A

    2017-06-01

    A main goal of rehabilitation strategies in humans with spinal cord injury is to strengthen transmission in spared neural networks. Although neuromodulatory strategies have targeted different sites within the central nervous system to restore motor function following spinal cord injury, the role of cortical targets remain poorly understood. Here, we use 180 pairs of transcranial magnetic stimulation for ∼30 min over the hand representation of the motor cortex at an interstimulus interval mimicking the rhythmicity of descending late indirect (I) waves in corticospinal neurons (4.3 ms; I-wave protocol) or at an interstimulus interval in-between I-waves (3.5 ms; control protocol) on separate days in a randomized order. Late I-waves are thought to arise from trans-synaptic cortical inputs and have a crucial role in the recruitment of spinal motor neurons following spinal cord injury. Motor evoked potentials elicited by transcranial magnetic stimulation, paired-pulse intracortical inhibition, spinal motor neuron excitability (F-waves), index finger abduction force and electromyographic activity as well as a hand dexterity task were measured before and after both protocols in 15 individuals with chronic incomplete cervical spinal cord injury and 17 uninjured participants. We found that motor evoked potentials size increased in spinal cord injury and uninjured participants after the I-wave but not the control protocol for ∼30 to 60 min after the stimulation. Intracortical inhibition decreased and F-wave amplitude and persistence increased after the I-wave but not the control protocol, suggesting that cortical and subcortical networks contributed to changes in corticospinal excitability. Importantly, hand motor output and hand dexterity increased in individuals with spinal cord injury after the I-wave protocol. These results provide the first evidence that late synaptic input to corticospinal neurons may represent a novel therapeutic target for improving motor function

  4. Spatiotemporal neuromodulation therapies engaging muscle synergies improve motor control after spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Wenger, Nikolaus; Moraud, Eduardo Martin; Gandar, Jerome; Musienko, Pavel; Capogrosso, Marco; Baud, Laetitia; Le Goff, Camille G.; Barraud, Quentin; Pavlova, Natalia; Dominici, Nadia; Minev, Ivan R.; Asboth, Leonie; Hirsch, Arthur; Duis, Simone; Kreider, Julie; Mortera, Andrea; Haverbeck, Oliver; Kraus, Silvio; Schmitz, Felix; DiGiovanna, Jack; van den Brand, Rubia; Bloch, Jocelyne; Detemple, Peter; Lacour, Stéphanie P.; Bézard, Erwan; Micera, Silvestro; Courtine, Grégoire

    2016-01-01

    Electrical neuromodulation of lumbar segments improves motor control after spinal cord injury in animal models and humans. However, the physiological principles underlying the effect of this intervention remain poorly understood, which has limited this therapeutic approach to continuous stimulation applied to restricted spinal cord locations. Here, we developed novel stimulation protocols that reproduce the natural dynamics of motoneuron activation during locomotion. For this, we computed the spatiotemporal activation pattern of muscle synergies during locomotion in healthy rats. Computer simulations identified optimal electrode locations to target each synergy through the recruitment of proprioceptive feedback circuits. This framework steered the design of spatially selective spinal implants and real–time control software that modulate extensor versus flexor synergies with precise temporal resolution. Spatiotemporal neuromodulation therapies improved gait quality, weight–bearing capacities, endurance and skilled locomotion in multiple rodent models of spinal cord injury. These new concepts are directly translatable to strategies to improve motor control in humans. PMID:26779815

  5. Transesophageal versus transcranial motor evoked potentials to monitor spinal cord ischemia.

    PubMed

    Tsuda, Kazumasa; Shiiya, Norihiko; Takahashi, Daisuke; Ohkura, Kazuhiro; Yamashita, Katsushi; Kando, Yumi; Arai, Yoshifumi

    2016-02-01

    We have previously reported that transesophageal motor evoked potential is feasible and more stable than transcranial motor evoked potential. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of transesophageal motor evoked potential to monitor spinal cord ischemia. Transesophageal and transcranial motor evoked potentials were recorded in 13 anesthetized dogs at the bilateral forelimbs, anal sphincters, and hindlimbs. Spinal cord ischemia was induced by aortic balloon occlusion at the 8th to 10th thoracic vertebra level. In the 12 animals with motor evoked potential disappearance, occlusion was maintained for 10 minutes (n = 6) or 40 minutes (n = 6) after motor evoked potential disappearance. Neurologic function was evaluated by Tarlov score at 24 and 48 hours postoperatively. Time to disappearance of bilateral motor evoked potentials was quicker in transesophageal motor evoked potentials than in transcranial motor evoked potentials at anal sphincters (6.9 ± 3.1 minutes vs 8.3 ± 3.4 minutes, P = .02) and hindlimbs (5.7 ± 1.9 minutes vs 7.1 ± 2.7 minutes, P = .008). Hindlimb function was normal in all dogs in the 10-minute occlusion group, and motor evoked potentials recovery (>75% on both sides) after reperfusion was quicker in transesophageal motor evoked potentials than transcranial motor evoked potentials at hindlimbs (14.8 ± 5.6 minutes vs 24.7 ± 8.2 minutes, P = .001). At anal sphincters, transesophageal motor evoked potentials always reappeared (>25%), but transcranial motor evoked potentials did not in 3 of 6 dogs. In the 40-minute occlusion group, hindlimb motor evoked potentials did not reappear in 4 dogs with paraplegia. Among the 2 remaining dogs, 1 with paraparesis (Tarlov 3) showed delayed recovery (>75%) of hindlimb motor evoked potentials without reappearance of anal sphincter motor evoked potentials. In another dog with spastic paraplegia, transesophageal motor evoked potentials from the hindlimbs remained less than 20%, whereas transcranial motor

  6. Chronic GABAergic blockade in the spinal cord in vivo induces motor alterations and neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-Jarquín, Uri Nimrod; Tapia, Ricardo

    2017-05-01

    Inhibitory GABAergic and glycinergic neurotransmission in the spinal cord play a central role in the regulation of neuronal excitability, by maintaining a balance with the glutamate-mediated excitatory transmission. Glutamatergic agonists infusion in the spinal cord induce motor neuron death by excitotoxicity, leading to motor deficits and paralysis, but little is known on the effect of the blockade of inhibitory transmission. In this work we studied the effects of GABAergic and glycinergic blockade, by means of microdialysis perfusion (acute administration) and osmotic minipumps infusion (chronic administration) of GABA and glycine receptors antagonists directly in the lumbar spinal cord. We show that acute glycinergic blockade with strychnine or GABAergic blockade with bicuculline had no significant effects on motor activity and on motor neuron survival. However, chronic bicuculline infusion, but not strychnine, induced ipsilateral gait alterations, phalange flaccidity and significant motor neuron loss, and these effects were prevented by AMPA receptor blockade with CNQX but not by NMDA receptor blockade with MK801. In addition, we demonstrate that the chronic infusion of bicuculline enhanced the excitotoxic effect of AMPA, causing faster bilateral paralysis and increasing motor neuron loss. These findings indicate a relevant role of GABAergic inhibitory circuits in the regulation of motor neuron excitability and suggest that their alterations may be involved in the neurodegeneration processes characteristic of motor neuron diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  7. Excitability of spinal neural function during motor imagery in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Toshiaki; Bunno, Yoshibumi; Onigata, Chieko; Tani, Makiko; Uragami, Sayuri; Yoshida, Sohei

    2014-01-01

    the median nerve at the wrist in subjects during two motor imagery conditions: holding and not holding the sensor of a pinch meter between the thumb and index finger. Our aim was to determine whether mental simulation without the muscle contraction associated with motion can increase the excitability of spinal neural function in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). F-waves of the left thenar muscles were examined in 10 patients with PD under resting, holding and motor imagery conditions. For the holding condition, the subjects held the sensor of the pinch meter between their thumb and index finger. For the motor imagery conditions, the subjects were asked to imagine a 50% maximal voluntary isometric contraction holding and not holding the sensor of the pinch meter between their thumb and index finger (motor imagery "with"/"without sensor"). Persistence during motor imagery under the "with sensor" condition increased significantly compared with persistence during resting (n=10, z=2.2509, p=0.0244, Wilcoxon test). The F/M amplitude ratio during motor imagery under the "with sensor" condition increased significantly compared with that during resting (n=10, z=2.1915, p=0.0284, Wilcoxon test). Excitability of spinal neural function during motor imagery in Parkinson's disease Motor imagery under the "with the sensor" condition increased excitability of the spinal neural output to the thenar muscles. Because excitability of the spinal neural output to the thenar muscles during motor imagery "with the sensor" was significantly higher than that during resting, we suggest that movement preparation for a motor imagery task is important in patients with PD.

  8. Optical stimulation for restoration of motor function after spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Mallory, Grant W; Grahn, Peter J; Hachmann, Jan T; Lujan, J Luis; Lee, Kendall H

    2015-02-01

    Spinal cord injury can be defined as a loss of communication between the brain and the body due to disrupted pathways within the spinal cord. Although many promising molecular strategies have emerged to reduce secondary injury and promote axonal regrowth, there is still no effective cure, and recovery of function remains limited. Functional electrical stimulation (FES) represents a strategy developed to restore motor function without the need for regenerating severed spinal pathways. Despite its technological success, however, FES has not been widely integrated into the lives of spinal cord injury survivors. In this review, we briefly discuss the limitations of existing FES technologies. Additionally, we discuss how optogenetics, a rapidly evolving technique used primarily to investigate select neuronal populations within the brain, may eventually be used to replace FES as a form of therapy for functional restoration after spinal cord injury. Copyright © 2015 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Memantine elicits spinal blockades of motor function, proprioception, and nociception in rats.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yu-Wen; Chiu, Chong-Chi; Liu, Kuo-Sheng; Hung, Ching-Hsia; Wang, Jhi-Joung

    2015-12-01

    Although memantine blocks sodium currents and produces local skin anesthesia, spinal anesthesia with memantine is unknown. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the local anesthetic effect of memantine in spinal anesthesia and its comparison with a widely used local anesthetic lidocaine. After intrathecally injecting the rats with five doses of each drug, the dose-response curves of memantine and lidocaine were constructed. The potencies of the drugs and durations of spinal anesthetic effects on motor function, proprioception, and nociception were compared with those of lidocaine. We showed that memantine produced dose-dependent spinal blockades in motor function, proprioception, and nociception. On a 50% effective dose (ED50 ) basis, the rank of potency was lidocaine greater than memantine (P < 0.05 for the differences). At the equipotent doses (ED25 , ED50 , ED75 ), the block duration produced by memantine was longer than that produced by lidocaine (P < 0.05 for the differences). Memantine, but not lidocaine, displayed more sensory/nociceptive block than motor block. The preclinical data demonstrated that memantine is less potent than lidocaine, whereas memantine produces longer duration of spinal anesthesia than lidocaine. Memantine shows a more sensory-selective action over motor blockade. © 2015 Société Française de Pharmacologie et de Thérapeutique.

  10. Cellular dissection of the spinal cord motor column by BAC transgenesis and gene trapping in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Asakawa, Kazuhide; Abe, Gembu; Kawakami, Koichi

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenesis and gene/enhancer trapping are effective approaches for identification of genetically defined neuronal populations in the central nervous system (CNS). Here, we applied these techniques to zebrafish (Danio rerio) in order to obtain insights into the cellular architecture of the axial motor column in vertebrates. First, by using the BAC for the Mnx class homeodomain protein gene mnr2b/mnx2b, we established the mnGFF7 transgenic line expressing the Gal4FF transcriptional activator in a large part of the motor column. Single cell labeling of Gal4FF-expressing cells in the mnGFF7 line enabled a detailed investigation of the morphological characteristics of individual spinal motoneurons, as well as the overall organization of the motor column in a spinal segment. Secondly, from a large-scale gene trap screen, we identified transgenic lines that marked discrete subpopulations of spinal motoneurons with Gal4FF. Molecular characterization of these lines led to the identification of the ADAMTS3 gene, which encodes an evolutionarily conserved ADAMTS family of peptidases and is dynamically expressed in the ventral spinal cord. The transgenic fish established here, along with the identified gene, should facilitate an understanding of the cellular and molecular architecture of the spinal cord motor column and its connection to muscles in vertebrates.

  11. A Review on Locomotor Training after Spinal Cord Injury: Reorganization of Spinal Neuronal Circuits and Recovery of Motor Function

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Locomotor training is a classic rehabilitation approach utilized with the aim of improving sensorimotor function and walking ability in people with spinal cord injury (SCI). Recent studies have provided strong evidence that locomotor training of persons with clinically complete, motor complete, or motor incomplete SCI induces functional reorganization of spinal neuronal networks at multisegmental levels at rest and during assisted stepping. This neuronal reorganization coincides with improvements in motor function and decreased muscle cocontractions. In this review, we will discuss the manner in which spinal neuronal circuits are impaired and the evidence surrounding plasticity of neuronal activity after locomotor training in people with SCI. We conclude that we need to better understand the physiological changes underlying locomotor training, use physiological signals to probe recovery over the course of training, and utilize established and contemporary interventions simultaneously in larger scale research studies. Furthermore, the focus of our research questions needs to change from feasibility and efficacy to the following: what are the physiological mechanisms that make it work and for whom? The aforementioned will enable the scientific and clinical community to develop more effective rehabilitation protocols maximizing sensorimotor function recovery in people with SCI. PMID:27293901

  12. Mesodermal and neuronal retinoids regulate the induction and maintenance of limb innervating spinal motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Ji, Sheng-Jian; Zhuang, BinQuan; Falco, Crystal; Schneider, André; Schuster-Gossler, Karin; Gossler, Achim; Sockanathan, Shanthini

    2006-09-01

    During embryonic development, the generation, diversification and maintenance of spinal motor neurons depend upon extrinsic signals that are tightly regulated. Retinoic acid (RA) is necessary for specifying the fates of forelimb-innervating motor neurons of the Lateral Motor Column (LMC), and the specification of LMC neurons into medial and lateral subtypes. Previous studies implicate motor neurons as the relevant source of RA for specifying lateral LMC fates at forelimb levels. However, at the time of LMC diversification, a significant amount of retinoids in the spinal cord originates from the adjacent paraxial mesoderm. Here we employ mouse genetics to show that RA derived from the paraxial mesoderm is required for lateral LMC induction at forelimb and hindlimb levels, demonstrating that mesodermally synthesized RA functions as a second source of signals to specify lateral LMC identity. Furthermore, reduced RA levels in postmitotic motor neurons result in a decrease of medial and lateral LMC neurons, and abnormal axonal projections in the limb; invoking additional roles for neuronally synthesized RA in motor neuron maintenance and survival. These findings suggest that during embryogenesis, mesodermal and neuronal retinoids act coordinately to establish and maintain appropriate cohorts of spinal motor neurons that innervate target muscles in the limb.

  13. An Optogenetic Demonstration of Motor Modularity in the Mammalian Spinal Cord

    PubMed Central

    Caggiano, Vittorio; Cheung, Vincent C. K.; Bizzi, Emilio

    2016-01-01

    Motor modules are neural entities hypothesized to be building blocks of movement construction. How motor modules are underpinned by neural circuits has remained obscured. As a first step towards dissecting these circuits, we optogenetically evoked motor outputs from the lumbosacral spinal cord of two strains of transgenic mice – the Chat, with channelrhodopsin (ChR2) expressed in motoneurons, and the Thy1, expressed in putatively excitatory neurons. Motor output was represented as a spatial field of isometric ankle force. We found that Thy1 force fields were more complex and diverse in structure than Chat fields: the Thy1 fields comprised mostly non-parallel vectors while the Chat fields, mostly parallel vectors. In both, most fields elicited by co-stimulation of two laser beams were well explained by linear combination of the separately-evoked fields. We interpreted the Thy1 force fields as representations of spinal motor modules. Our comparison of the Chat and Thy1 fields allowed us to conclude, with reasonable certainty, that the structure of neuromotor modules originates from excitatory spinal interneurons. Our results not only demonstrate, for the first time using optogenetics, how the spinal modules follow linearity in their combinations, but also provide a reference against which future optogenetic studies of modularity can be compared. PMID:27734925

  14. Motor axons are guided to exit points in the spinal cord by Slit and Netrin signals.

    PubMed

    Kim, Minkyung; Fontelonga, Tatiana M; Lee, Clare H; Barnum, Sarah J; Mastick, Grant S

    2017-10-03

    In the spinal cord, motor axons project out the neural tube at specific exit points, then bundle together to project toward target muscles. The molecular signals that guide motor axons to and out of their exit points remain undefined. Since motor axons and their exit points are located near the floor plate, guidance signals produced by the floor plate and adjacent ventral tissues could influence motor axons as they project toward and out of exit points. The secreted Slit proteins are major floor plate repellents, and motor neurons express two Slit receptors, Robo1 and Robo2. Using mutant mouse embryos at early stages of motor axon exit, we found that motor exit points shifted ventrally in Robo1/2 or Slit1/2 double mutants. Along with the ventral shift, mutant axons had abnormal trajectories both within the neural tube toward the exit point, and after exit into the periphery. In contrast, the absence of the major ventral attractant, Netrin-1, or its receptor, DCC caused motor exit points to shift dorsally. Netrin-1 attraction on spinal motor axons was demonstrated by in vitro explant assays, showing that Netrin-1 increased outgrowth and attracted cultured spinal motor axons. The opposing effects of Slit/Robo and Netrin-1/DCC signals were tested genetically by combining Netrin-1 and Robo1/2 mutations. The location of exit points in the combined mutants was significantly recovered to their normal position compared to Netrin-1 or Robo1/2 mutants. Together, these results suggest that the proper position of motor exit points is determined by a "push-pull" mechanism, pulled ventrally by Netrin-1/DCC attraction and pushed dorsally by Slit/Robo repulsion. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  15. Maturation of Spinal Motor Neurons Derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Takazawa, Tomonori; Croft, Gist F.; Amoroso, Mackenzie W.; Studer, Lorenz; Wichterle, Hynek; MacDermott, Amy B.

    2012-01-01

    Our understanding of motor neuron biology in humans is derived mainly from investigation of human postmortem tissue and more indirectly from live animal models such as rodents. Thus generation of motor neurons from human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells is an important new approach to model motor neuron function. To be useful models of human motor neuron function, cells generated in vitro should develop mature properties that are the hallmarks of motor neurons in vivo such as elaborated neuronal processes and mature electrophysiological characteristics. Here we have investigated changes in morphological and electrophysiological properties associated with maturation of neurons differentiated from human embryonic stem cells expressing GFP driven by a motor neuron specific reporter (Hb9::GFP) in culture. We observed maturation in cellular morphology seen as more complex neurite outgrowth and increased soma area over time. Electrophysiological changes included decreasing input resistance and increasing action potential firing frequency over 13 days in vitro. Furthermore, these human embryonic stem cell derived motor neurons acquired two physiological characteristics that are thought to underpin motor neuron integrated function in motor circuits; spike frequency adaptation and rebound action potential firing. These findings show that human embryonic stem cell derived motor neurons develop functional characteristics typical of spinal motor neurons in vivo and suggest that they are a relevant and useful platform for studying motor neuron development and function and for modeling motor neuron diseases. PMID:22802953

  16. Changes in corticospinal drive to spinal motoneurones following visuo-motor skill learning in humans

    PubMed Central

    Perez, Monica A; Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper; Nielsen, Jens B

    2006-01-01

    We have previously demonstrated an increase in the excitability of the leg motor cortical area in relation to acquisition of a visuo-motor task in healthy humans. It remains unknown whether the interaction between corticospinal drive and spinal motoneurones is also modulated following motor skill learning. Here we investigated the effect of visuo-motor skill training involving the ankle muscles on the coupling between electroencephalographic (EEG) activity recorded from the motor cortex (Cz) and electromyographic (EMG) activity recorded from the left tibialis anterior (TA) muscle in 11 volunteers. Coupling in the time (cumulant density function) and frequency domains (coherence) between EEG–EMG and EMG–EMG activity were calculated during tonic isometric dorsiflexion before and after 32 min of training a visuo-motor tracking task involving the ankle muscles or performing alternating dorsi- and plantarflexion movements without visual feedback. A significant increase in EEG–EMG coherence around 15–35 Hz was observed following the visuo-motor skill session in nine subjects and in only one subject after the control task. Changes in coherence were specific to the trained muscle as coherence for the untrained contralateral TA muscle was unchanged. EEG and EMG power were unchanged following the training. Our results suggest that visuo-motor skill training is associated with changes in the corticospinal drive to spinal motorneurones. Possibly these changes reflect sensorimotor integration processes between cortex and muscle as part of the motor learning process. PMID:16581867

  17. [The role of spinal motoneurons in the mechanisms of hypogravitational motor syndrome development].

    PubMed

    Islamov, R R; Tiapkina, O V; Nikol'skiĭ, E E; Kozlovskaia, I B; Grigor'ev, A I

    2013-03-01

    Studies results of gravity unloading influence on spinal control system of muscle structure and functions are summarized. It was shown that demyelization of axons due to reduction of genes expression responsible for myelin proteins synthesis, decrease in one of the key enzymes of cholinergic system--cholineacetyltransferase activity, alteration of normal kinetics of quantal and non-quantal neurotransmitter secretion, impaired autoregulation of acetylcholine secretion from motor nerve endings through presynaptic cholinergic receptors, slowing of axonal transport of substances in motor neurons that innervate postural muscles played the important role in the development of hypogravitational motor symptoms. At the same time, the evidences of neuroprotective mechanisms enclosing (increase in heat shock proteins Hsp25 and Hsp70 expression), that hinder apoptosis development in motor neurons and glial cells in the spinal cord under conditions of model hypogravity, were revealed.

  18. Intermittent Hypoxia-Induced Spinal Inflammation Impairs Respiratory Motor Plasticity by a Spinal p38 MAP Kinase-Dependent Mechanism.

    PubMed

    Huxtable, Adrianne G; Smith, Stephanie M C; Peterson, Timothy J; Watters, Jyoti J; Mitchell, Gordon S

    2015-04-29

    Inflammation is characteristic of most clinical disorders that challenge the neural control of breathing. Since inflammation modulates neuroplasticity, we studied the impact of inflammation caused by prolonged intermittent hypoxia on an important form of respiratory plasticity, acute intermittent hypoxia (three, 5 min hypoxic episodes, 5 min normoxic intervals) induced phrenic long-term facilitation (pLTF). Because chronic intermittent hypoxia elicits neuroinflammation and pLTF is undermined by lipopolysaccharide-induced systemic inflammation, we hypothesized that one night of intermittent hypoxia (IH-1) elicits spinal inflammation, thereby impairing pLTF by a p38 MAP kinase-dependent mechanism. pLTF and spinal inflammation were assessed in anesthetized rats pretreated with IH-1 (2 min hypoxia, 2 min normoxia; 8 h) or sham normoxia and allowed 16 h for recovery. IH-1 (1) transiently increased IL-6 (1.5 ± 0.2-fold; p = 0.02) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) (2.4 ± 0.4-fold; p = 0.01) mRNA in cervical spinal homogenates, (2) elicited a sustained increase in IL-1β mRNA (2.4 ± 0.2-fold; p < 0.001) in isolated cervical spinal microglia, and (3) abolished pLTF (-1 ± 5% vs 56 ± 10% in controls; p < 0.001). pLTF was restored after IH-1 by systemic NSAID administration (ketoprofen; 55 ± 9%; p < 0.001) or spinal p38 MAP kinase inhibition (58 ± 2%; p < 0.001). IH-1 increased phosphorylated (activated) p38 MAP kinase immunofluorescence in identified phrenic motoneurons and adjacent microglia. In conclusion, IH-1 elicits spinal inflammation and impairs pLTF by a spinal p38 MAP kinase-dependent mechanism. By targeting inflammation, we may develop strategies to manipulate respiratory motor plasticity for therapeutic advantage when the respiratory control system is compromised (e.g., sleep apnea, apnea of prematurity, spinal injury, or motor neuron disease).

  19. Spinal motor and sensory neurons are androgen targets in an acrobatic bird.

    PubMed

    Fuxjager, Matthew J; Schultz, J Douglas; Barske, Julia; Feng, Ni Y; Fusani, Leonida; Mirzatoni, Anahid; Day, Lainy B; Hau, Michaela; Schlinger, Barney A

    2012-08-01

    Sex steroids affect the motivation to court mates, but less is known about how they influence motor movements associated with courtship behavior. Steroidal control of motor function may be especially important for species in which courtship requires superior strength, stamina, and neuromuscular coordination. Here we use the golden-collared manakin (Manacus vitellinus) to examine whether the neuromuscular circuitry that controls motoric aspects of courtship activity is sensitive to androgens. Males of this tropical species attract mates by rapidly jumping among branches in a courtship arena and using their wings to produce loud wing snaps. Testosterone activates this display via the androgen receptor (AR), and past work reveals that manakins injected with radio-labeled T ((3)H-T) accumulate radioactivity in the spinal cord. Thus, we used quantitative PCR to measure AR, estrogen receptor-α (ER-α) subtype, and aromatase (AROM) mRNA in spinal cords of male and female manakins and zebra finches. Expression of AR, but not ER-α or aromatase, was higher throughout the manakin spinal cord compared with the zebra finch. Next, we tested whether AR-expressing skeletal muscles are innervated by motor and sensory neurons that also express AR. To do this, we backfilled spinal neurons by injecting fluorescent tracers into select AR-sensitive wing and leg muscles of wild caught male and female manakins. We then removed these spinal cords and measured AR expression with in situ hybridization. Both sexes showed abundant AR mRNA in the cervical and lumbosacral spinal enlargements as well as in dorsal root ganglia attached to these enlargements. Together our findings suggest that androgens act widely on peripheral motor and sensory circuits in golden-collared manakins to influence wing snapping displays.

  20. Competition with Primary Sensory Afferents Drives Remodeling of Corticospinal Axons in Mature Spinal Motor Circuits.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yu-Qiu; Zaaimi, Boubker; Martin, John H

    2016-01-06

    Injury to the mature motor system drives significant spontaneous axonal sprouting instead of axon regeneration. Knowing the circuit-level determinants of axonal sprouting is important for repairing motor circuits after injury to achieve functional rehabilitation. Competitive interactions are known to shape corticospinal tract axon outgrowth and withdrawal during development. Whether and how competition contributes to reorganization of mature spinal motor circuits is unclear. To study this question, we examined plastic changes in corticospinal axons in response to two complementary proprioceptive afferent manipulations: (1) enhancing proprioceptive afferents activity by electrical stimulation; or (2) diminishing their input by dorsal rootlet rhizotomy. Experiments were conducted in adult rats. Electrical stimulation produced proprioceptive afferent sprouting that was accompanied by significant corticospinal axon withdrawal and a decrease in corticospinal connections on cholinergic interneurons in the medial intermediate zone and C boutons on motoneurons. In contrast, dorsal rootlet rhizotomy led to a significant increase in corticospinal connections, including those on cholinergic interneurons; C bouton density increased correspondingly. Motor cortex-evoked muscle potentials showed parallel changes to those of corticospinal axons, suggesting that reciprocal corticospinal axon changes are functional. Using the two complementary models, we showed that competitive interactions between proprioceptive and corticospinal axons are an important determinant in the organization of mature corticospinal axons and spinal motor circuits. The activity- and synaptic space-dependent properties of the competition enables prediction of the remodeling of spared corticospinal connection and spinal motor circuits after injury and informs the target-specific control of corticospinal connections to promote functional recovery. Neuroplasticity is limited in maturity, but it is promoted

  1. Competition with Primary Sensory Afferents Drives Remodeling of Corticospinal Axons in Mature Spinal Motor Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Yu-Qiu; Zaaimi, Boubker

    2016-01-01

    Injury to the mature motor system drives significant spontaneous axonal sprouting instead of axon regeneration. Knowing the circuit-level determinants of axonal sprouting is important for repairing motor circuits after injury to achieve functional rehabilitation. Competitive interactions are known to shape corticospinal tract axon outgrowth and withdrawal during development. Whether and how competition contributes to reorganization of mature spinal motor circuits is unclear. To study this question, we examined plastic changes in corticospinal axons in response to two complementary proprioceptive afferent manipulations: (1) enhancing proprioceptive afferents activity by electrical stimulation; or (2) diminishing their input by dorsal rootlet rhizotomy. Experiments were conducted in adult rats. Electrical stimulation produced proprioceptive afferent sprouting that was accompanied by significant corticospinal axon withdrawal and a decrease in corticospinal connections on cholinergic interneurons in the medial intermediate zone and C boutons on motoneurons. In contrast, dorsal rootlet rhizotomy led to a significant increase in corticospinal connections, including those on cholinergic interneurons; C bouton density increased correspondingly. Motor cortex-evoked muscle potentials showed parallel changes to those of corticospinal axons, suggesting that reciprocal corticospinal axon changes are functional. Using the two complementary models, we showed that competitive interactions between proprioceptive and corticospinal axons are an important determinant in the organization of mature corticospinal axons and spinal motor circuits. The activity- and synaptic space-dependent properties of the competition enables prediction of the remodeling of spared corticospinal connection and spinal motor circuits after injury and informs the target-specific control of corticospinal connections to promote functional recovery. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neuroplasticity is limited in maturity

  2. Improving Survival and Promoting Respiratory Motor Function after Cervical Spinal Cord Injury

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-09-01

    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-15-1-0378 TITLE: Improving Survival and Promoting Respiratory Motor Function after Cervical Spinal Cord Injury PRINCIPAL...Aug 2015 - 14 Aug 2016 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE CordCorInjury 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Improvi g Survival and Promoting Respiratory Motor Function After... respiratory complications. This application proposes to help improve survival, decrease early dependence on mechanical ventilation, and restore breathing

  3. Motor Neuron Rescue in Spinal Muscular Atrophy Mice Demonstrates That Sensory-Motor Defects Are a Consequence, Not a Cause, of Motor Neuron Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Gogliotti, Rocky G.; Quinlan, Katharina A.; Barlow, Courtenay B.; Heier, Christopher R.; Heckman, C. J.

    2012-01-01

    The loss of motor neurons (MNs) is a hallmark of the neuromuscular disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA); however, it is unclear whether this phenotype autonomously originates within the MN. To address this question, we developed an inducible mouse model of severe SMA that has perinatal lethality, decreased motor function, motor unit pathology, and hyperexcitable MNs. Using an Hb9-Cre allele, we increased Smn levels autonomously within MNs and demonstrate that MN rescue significantly improves all phenotypes and pathologies commonly described in SMA mice. MN rescue also corrects hyperexcitability in SMA motor neurons and prevents sensory-motor synaptic stripping. Survival in MN-rescued SMA mice is extended by only 5 d, due in part to failed autonomic innervation of the heart. Collectively, this work demonstrates that the SMA phenotype autonomously originates in MNs and that sensory-motor synapse loss is a consequence, not a cause, of MN dysfunction. PMID:22423102

  4. [Lateral motor nucleus in the lumbosacral segment of the spinal cord of the horse].

    PubMed

    Flieger, S; Sławomirski, J; Boratyński, Z; Jastrzebski, M

    1984-01-01

    Two medullae oblongatae of horses were cut into 15 microns cross-sections and stained according to the modified method of Nissel. The lateral motor nucleus lies in the lateral and median part of the ventral column of spinal cord grey matter. It adjoins medially nucleus motorius medialis of the spinal ventral column. Cells of this nucleus occur both along the whole lumbar and sacral segment of the spinal cord. In the lateral motor nucleus three cell groups are distinguished - median, basal and lateral. The latter is divided in some segments into subgroups - dorsal and ventral. Along the nucleus quite numerous constrictions and intervals are found, which are caused by various numbers of cells in particular cross-sections. Nucleus motorius lateralis is formed mainly of large and medium multipolar or single spindle cells.

  5. Immediate plasticity in the motor pathways after spinal cord hemisection: implications for transcranial magnetic motor-evoked potentials.

    PubMed

    Fujiki, Minoru; Kobayashi, Hidenori; Inoue, Ryo; Ishii, Keisuke

    2004-06-01

    The present study evaluates motor functional recovery after C2 spinal cord hemisection with or without contralateral brachial root transection, which causes a condition that is similar to the crossed phrenic phenomenon on rats. Descending motor pathways, including the reticulospinal extrapyramidal tract and corticospinal pyramidal tracts, were evaluated by transcranial magnetic motor-evoked potentials (mMEPs) and direct cortical electrical motor-evoked potentials (eMEP), respectively. All MEPs recorded from the left forelimb were abolished immediately after the left C2 hemisection. Left mMEPs recovered dramatically immediately after contralateral right brachial root transection. Corticospinal eMEPs never recovered, regardless of transection. The facilitation of mMEPs in animals that had undergone combined contralateral root transection was well correlated with open-field behavioral motor performance. Both electrophysiological and neurological facilitations were significantly attenuated by the selective serotonin synthesis inhibitor para-chlorophenylalanine (p-CPA). These results suggest that serotonergic reticulospinal fibers located contralateral to hemisection contribute to the behavioral and electrophysiological improvement that immediately follows spinal cord injury (SCI).

  6. Autophagy-mediated stress response in motor neurons after hypothermic spinal cord ischemia in rabbits.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Satoshi; Sakurai, Masahiro; Baba, Hironori; Abe, Koji; Tominaga, Ryuji

    2015-11-01

    The development of spinal cord injury is believed to be related to the vulnerability of spinal motor neurons to ischemia. However, the mechanisms underlying this vulnerability have not been fully investigated. Previously, we reported that spinal motor neurons are lost likely due to autophagy and that local hypothermia prevents such spinal motor neuron death. Therefore, we investigated the role of autophagy in normothermic and hypothermic spinal cord ischemia using an immunohistochemical analysis of Beclin 1 (BCLN1; B-cell leukemia 2 protein [Bcl-2] interacting protein), Bcl-2, and γ-aminobutyric acid type-A receptor-associated protein (GABARAP), which are considered autophagy-related proteins. We used rabbit normothermic and hypothermic transient spinal cord ischemia models using a balloon catheter. Neurologic function was assessed according to the Johnson score, and the spinal cord was removed at 8 hours and 1, 2, and 7 days after reperfusion, and morphologic changes were examined using hematoxylin and eosin staining. A Western blot analysis and histochemical study of BCLN1, Bcl-2, and GABARAP, and double-labeled fluorescent immunocytochemical studies were performed. There were significant differences in the physiologic function between the normothermic model and hypothermic model after the procedure (P < .05). In the normothermic model, most of the motor neurons were selectively lost at 7 days of reperfusion (P < .001 compared with the sham group), and they were preserved in the hypothermic model (P = .574 compared with the sham group). The Western blot analysis revealed that the sustained expression of the autophagy markers, BCLN1 and GABARAP, was observed (P < .001 compared with the sham group) and was associated with neuronal cell death in normothermic ischemic conditions. In hypothermic ischemic conditions, the autophagy inhibitory protein Bcl-2 was powerfully induced (P < .001 compared with the sham group) and was associated with blunted expression

  7. Excitability of spinal neural function during motor imagery in Parkinson’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Toshiaki; Bunno, Yoshibumi; Onigata, Chieko; Tani, Makiko; Uragami, Sayuri; Yoshida, Sohei

    2014-01-01

    Summary We analyzed thenar muscle F-waves after stimulating the median nerve at the wrist in subjects during two motor imagery conditions: holding and not holding the sensor of a pinch meter between the thumb and index finger. Our aim was to determine whether mental simulation without the muscle contraction associated with motion can increase the excitability of spinal neural function in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). F-waves of the left thenar muscles were examined in 10 patients with PD under resting, holding and motor imagery conditions. For the holding condition, the subjects held the sensor of the pinch meter between their thumb and index finger. For the motor imagery conditions, the subjects were asked to imagine a 50% maximal voluntary isometric contraction holding and not holding the sensor of the pinch meter between their thumb and index finger (motor imagery “with”/“without sensor”). Persistence during motor imagery under the “with sensor” condition increased significantly compared with persistence during resting (n=10, z=2.2509, p=0.0244, Wilcoxon test). The F/M amplitude ratio during motor imagery under the “with sensor” condition increased significantly compared with that during resting (n=10, z=2.1915, p=0.0284, Wilcoxon test). Motor imagery under the “with the sensor” condition increased excitability of the spinal neural output to the thenar muscles. Because excitability of the spinal neural output to the thenar muscles during motor imagery “with the sensor” was significantly higher than that during resting, we suggest that movement preparation for a motor imagery task is important in patients with PD. PMID:25764256

  8. Optical stimulation for restoration of motor function following spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Mallory, Grant W.; Grahn, Peter J.; Hachmann, Jan T.; Lujan, J. Luis; Lee, Kendall H.

    2015-01-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) can be defined as a loss of communication between the brain and the body due to disrupted pathways within the spinal cord. While many promising molecular strategies have emerged to reduce secondary injury and promote axonal regrowth, there is still no effective cure and recovery of function remains limited. Functional electrical stimulation (FES) represents a strategy developed to restore motor function without the need for regenerating severed spinal pathways. Despite its technological success, however, FES has not been widely integrated into the lives of spinal cord injury survivors. In this review, we briefly discuss the limitations of existing FES technologies. Additionally, we discuss how optogenetics, a rapidly evolving technique used primarily to investigate select neuronal populations within the brain, may eventually be used to replace FES as a form of therapy for functional restoration following SCI. PMID:25659246

  9. Interactive virtual feedback improves gait motor imagery after spinal cord injury: An exploratory study.

    PubMed

    Roosink, Meyke; Robitaille, Nicolas; Jackson, Philip L; Bouyer, Laurent J; Mercier, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    Motor imagery can improve motor function and reduce pain. This is relevant to individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) in whom motor dysfunction and neuropathic pain are prevalent. However, therapy efficacy could be dependent on motor imagery ability, and a clear understanding of how motor imagery might be facilitated is currently lacking. Thus, the aim of the present study was to assess the immediate effects of interactive virtual feedback on motor imagery performance after SCI. Nine individuals with a traumatic SCI participated in the experiment. Motor imagery tasks consisted of forward (i.e. simpler) and backward (i.e. more complex) walking while receiving interactive versus static virtual feedback. Motor imagery performance (vividness, effort and speed), neuropathic pain intensity and feasibility (immersion, distraction, side-effects) were assessed. During interactive feedback trials, motor imagery vividness and speed were significantly higher and effort was significantly lower as compared static feedback trials. No change in neuropathic pain was observed. Adverse effects were minor, and immersion was reported to be good. This exploratory study showed that interactive virtual walking was feasible and facilitated motor imagery performance. The response to motor imagery interventions after SCI might be improved by using interactive virtual feedback.

  10. Interactive virtual feedback improves gait motor imagery after spinal cord injury: An exploratory study

    PubMed Central

    Roosink, Meyke; Robitaille, Nicolas; Jackson, Philip L.; Bouyer, Laurent J.; Mercier, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Motor imagery can improve motor function and reduce pain. This is relevant to individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) in whom motor dysfunction and neuropathic pain are prevalent. However, therapy efficacy could be dependent on motor imagery ability, and a clear understanding of how motor imagery might be facilitated is currently lacking. Thus, the aim of the present study was to assess the immediate effects of interactive virtual feedback on motor imagery performance after SCI. Methods: Nine individuals with a traumatic SCI participated in the experiment. Motor imagery tasks consisted of forward (i.e. simpler) and backward (i.e. more complex) walking while receiving interactive versus static virtual feedback. Motor imagery performance (vividness, effort and speed), neuropathic pain intensity and feasibility (immersion, distraction, side-effects) were assessed. Results: During interactive feedback trials, motor imagery vividness and speed were significantly higher and effort was significantly lower as compared static feedback trials. No change in neuropathic pain was observed. Adverse effects were minor, and immersion was reported to be good. Conclusions: This exploratory study showed that interactive virtual walking was feasible and facilitated motor imagery performance. The response to motor imagery interventions after SCI might be improved by using interactive virtual feedback. PMID:26890097

  11. SMN in motor neurons determines synaptic integrity in spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Martinez, Tara L.; Kong, Lingling; Wang, Xueyong; Osborne, Melissa A.; Crowder, Melissa E.; Van Meerbeke, James P.; Xu, Xixi; Davis, Crystal; Wooley, Joe; Goldhamer, David J.; Lutz, Cathleen M.; Rich, Mark. M.; Sumner, Charlotte J.

    2012-01-01

    The inherited motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by deficient expression of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein and results in severe muscle weakness. In SMA mice, synaptic dysfunction of both neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and central sensorimotor synapses precedes motor neuron cell death. To address whether this synaptic dysfunction is due to SMN deficiency in motor neurons, muscle, or both, we generated three lines of conditional SMA mice with tissue-specific increases in SMN expression. All three lines of mice showed increased survival, weights, and improved motor behavior. While increased SMN expression in motor neurons prevented synaptic dysfunction at the NMJ and restored motor neuron somal synapses, increased SMN expression in muscle did not affect synaptic function although it did improve myofiber size. Together these data indicate that both peripheral and central synaptic integrity are dependent on motor neurons in SMA, but SMN may have variable roles in the maintenance of these different synapses. At the NMJ, it functions at the presynaptic terminal in a cell-autonomous fashion, but may be necessary for retrograde trophic signaling to presynaptic inputs onto motor neurons. Importantly, SMN also appears to function in muscle growth and/or maintenance independent of motor neurons. Our data suggest that SMN plays distinct roles in muscle, NMJs, and motor neuron somal synapses and that restored function of SMN at all three sites will be necessary for full recovery of muscle power. PMID:22723710

  12. Modules in the brain stem and spinal cord underlying motor behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Cheung, Vincent C. K.; Bizzi, Emilio

    2011-01-01

    Previous studies using intact and spinalized animals have suggested that coordinated movements can be generated by appropriate combinations of muscle synergies controlled by the central nervous system (CNS). However, which CNS regions are responsible for expressing muscle synergies remains an open question. We address whether the brain stem and spinal cord are involved in expressing muscle synergies used for executing a range of natural movements. We analyzed the electromyographic (EMG) data recorded from frog leg muscles before and after transection at different levels of the neuraxis—rostral midbrain (brain stem preparations), rostral medulla (medullary preparations), and the spinal-medullary junction (spinal preparations). Brain stem frogs could jump, swim, kick, and step, while medullary frogs could perform only a partial repertoire of movements. In spinal frogs, cutaneous reflexes could be elicited. Systematic EMG analysis found two different synergy types: 1) synergies shared between pre- and posttransection states and 2) synergies specific to individual states. Almost all synergies found in natural movements persisted after transection at rostral midbrain or medulla but not at the spinal-medullary junction for swim and step. Some pretransection- and posttransection-specific synergies for a certain behavior appeared as shared synergies for other motor behaviors of the same animal. These results suggest that the medulla and spinal cord are sufficient for the expression of most muscle synergies in frog behaviors. Overall, this study provides further evidence supporting the idea that motor behaviors may be constructed by muscle synergies organized within the brain stem and spinal cord and activated by descending commands from supraspinal areas. PMID:21653716

  13. Modulation of spinal motor output by initial arm postures in anesthetized monkeys.

    PubMed

    Yaguchi, Hiroaki; Takei, Tomohiko; Kowalski, David; Suzuki, Takafumi; Mabuchi, Kunihiko; Seki, Kazuhiko

    2015-04-29

    Proper execution of voluntary movement requires a sensorimotor transformation based on the initial limb state. For example, successfully reaching to a stable target requires the recruitment of different muscle groups depending on limb position at movement initiation. To test whether this transformation could occur at the spinal level, we stimulated the cervical spinal cord of anesthetized monkeys while systematically changing initial posture and examined the modulation of the twitch response induced in the upper limb muscles. In three monkeys, a multichannel microelectrode array was implanted into the C6 segment of the spinal cord and electromyographic electrodes were implanted in 12 limb muscles (five hand, four elbow, and three shoulder muscles). The magnitude and onset latency of the evoked response in each electrode-muscle pair were examined by systematically changing the hand position through nine positions in a horizontal plane with the monkey prone. Among 330 electrode-muscle pairs examined, 61% of pairs exhibited significant modulation of either magnitude or latency of twitch responses across different hand/arm configurations (posture dependency). We found that posture dependency occurred preferentially in the distal rather than proximal muscles and was not affected by the location of the electrode within the stimulated spinal segment. Importantly, this posture dependency was not affected by spinalization at the C2 level. These results suggest that excitability in the cervical spinal cord is affected by initial arm posture through spinal reflex pathways. This posture dependency of spinal motor output could affect voluntary arm movement by adjusting descending motor commands relative to the initial arm posture.

  14. Spinal segment-specific transcutaneous stimulation differentially shapes activation pattern among motor pools in humans

    PubMed Central

    Atkinson, Darryn A.; Dy, Christine J.; Gurley, Katelyn M.; Smith, Valerie L.; Angeli, Claudia; Harkema, Susan J.; Edgerton, V. Reggie; Gerasimenko, Yury P.

    2015-01-01

    Transcutaneous and epidural electrical spinal cord stimulation techniques are becoming more valuable as electrophysiological and clinical tools. Recently, we observed selective activation of proximal and distal motor pools during epidural spinal stimulation. In the present study, we hypothesized that the characteristics of recruitment curves obtained from leg muscles will reflect a relative preferential activation of proximal and distal motor pools based on their arrangement along the lumbosacral enlargement. The purpose was to describe the electrophysiological responses to transcutaneous stimulation in leg muscles innervated by motoneurons from different segmental levels. Stimulation delivered along the rostrocaudal axis of the lumbosacral enlargement in the supine position resulted in a selective topographical recruitment of proximal and distal leg muscles, as described by threshold intensity, slope of the recruitment curves, and plateau point intensity and magnitude. Relatively selective recruitment of proximal and distal motor pools can be titrated by optimizing the site and intensity level of stimulation to excite a given combination of motor pools. The slope of the recruitment of particular muscles allows characterization of the properties of afferents projecting to specific motoneuron pools, as well as to the type and size of the motoneurons. The location and intensity of transcutaneous spinal electrical stimulation are critical to target particular neural structures across different motor pools in investigation of specific neuromodulatory effects. Finally, the asymmetry in bilateral evoked potentials is inevitable and can be attributed to both anatomical and functional peculiarities of individual muscles or muscle groups. PMID:25814642

  15. Effect of oscillating electrical field stimulation on motor function recovery and myelin regeneration after spinal cord injury in rats.

    PubMed

    Tian, Da-Sheng; Jing, Jue-Hua; Qian, Jun; Chen, Lei; Zhu, Bin

    2016-05-01

    [Purpose] The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of oscillating electrical field stimulation on motor function recovery and myelin regeneration in rats with spinal cord injury. [Subjects and Methods] A rat model of spinal cord injury was constructed by using the Allen weight-drop method. These rats were randomly divided into normal, spinal cord injury, and spinal cord injury + oscillating electrical field stimulation groups. The experimental group received the intervention with oscillating electrical field stimulation, and the control group received the intervention with an electrical field stimulator without oscillating electrical field stimulation. Each group was then randomly divided into seven subgroups according to observation time (1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 weeks). Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan score and inclined plate test score evaluation, motor evoked potential detection, and histological observation were performed. [Results] In the first 2 weeks of oscillating electrical field stimulation, the oscillating electrical field stimulation and inclined plate test scores of spinal cord injury group and spinal cord injury + oscillating electrical field stimulation group were not significantly different. In the fourth week, the scores of the spinal cord injury group were significantly lower than those of the spinal cord injury + oscillating electrical field stimulation group. The motor evoked potential incubation period in the spinal cord injury + oscillating electrical field stimulation group at the various time points was shorter than that in the spinal cord injury group. In the sixth week, the relative area of myelin in the spinal cord injury + oscillating electrical field stimulation group was evidently larger than that in the spinal cord injury group. [Conclusion] Oscillating electrical field stimulation could effectively improve spinal cord conduction function and promote motor function recovery in rats with spinal cord injury, as well as promote myelin

  16. Motor cortical control of cardiovascular bulbar neurones projecting to spinal autonomic areas.

    PubMed

    Viltart, Odile; Mullier, Olivia; Bernet, François; Poulain, Pierre; Ba-M'Hamed, Saadia; Sequeira, Henrique

    2003-07-01

    There is evidence that the motor cortex is involved in cardiovascular adjustments associated with somatic motor activity, as it has functional connections with the ventrolateral medulla, a brainstem region critically involved in the control of blood pressure and the regulation of plasma catecholamine levels. The ventrolateral medulla sends projections to the spinal intermediolateral nucleus, where preganglionic neurones controlling heart and blood vessels (T2 segment) and adrenal medulla (T8 segment) are found. The aim of the present study was to determine whether electrical stimulation of the rat motor cortex induces cardiovascular responses and Fos expression in ventrolateral medulla neurones projecting to the T2 and T8 segments. After a set of experiments designed to record cardiovascular parameters (blood pressure and plasma catecholamine levels), injections of retrograde tracer (Fluorogold) were performed in the intermediolateral nucleus of two groups of rats, at the T2 or at the T8 segmental levels. Five days later, the motor cortex was stimulated in order to induce Fos expression in the ventrolateral medulla. Stimulation of the motor cortex induced: (1). hypotension and a significant decrease in plasma noradrenaline levels, and (2). a significant increase in the number of the double-labelled neurones in the rostral ventrolateral medulla projecting to T2. These data demonstrate that cardiovascular adjustments, preparatory to, or concomitant with, motor activity may be initiated in the motor cortex and transmitted to cardiac and vasomotor spinal preganglionic neurones, via the ventrolateral medulla. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  17. Evolution of EEG Motor Rhythms after Spinal Cord Injury: A Longitudinal Study

    PubMed Central

    López-Larraz, Eduardo; Montesano, Luis; Gil-Agudo, Ángel; Minguez, Javier; Oliviero, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) does not only produce a lack of sensory and motor function caudal to the level of injury, but it also leads to a progressive brain reorganization. Chronic SCI patients attempting to move their affected limbs present a significant reduction of brain activation in the motor cortex, which has been linked to the deafferentation. The aim of this work is to study the evolution of the motor-related brain activity during the first months after SCI. Eighteen subacute SCI patients were recruited to participate in bi-weekly experimental sessions during at least two months. Their EEG was recorded to analyze the temporal evolution of the event-related desynchronization (ERD) over the motor cortex, both during motor attempt and motor imagery of their paralyzed hands. The results show that the α and β ERD evolution after SCI is negatively correlated with the clinical progression of the patients during the first months after the injury. This work provides the first longitudinal study of the event-related desynchronization during the subacute phase of spinal cord injury. Furthermore, our findings reveal a strong association between the ERD changes and the clinical evolution of the patients. These results help to better understand the brain transformation after SCI, which is important to characterize the neuroplasticity mechanisms involved after this lesion and may lead to new strategies for rehabilitation and motor restoration of these patients. PMID:26177457

  18. Abnormal motor phenotype in the SMNΔ7 mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Butchbach, Matthew E. R.; Edwards, Jonathan D.; Burghes, Arthur H. M.

    2009-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is recessive motor neuron disease that affects motor neurons in the anterior horn of the spinal cord. SMA results from the reduction of SMN (survival motor neuron) protein. Even though SMN is ubiquitously expressed, motor neurons are more sensitive to the reduction in SMN than other cell types. We have previously generated mouse models of SMA with varying degrees of clinical severity. So as to more clearly understand the pathogenesis of motor neuron degeneration in SMA, we have characterized the phenotype of the SMNΔ7 SMA mouse which normally lives for 13.6 ± 0.7 days. These mice are smaller than their non-SMA littermates and begin to lose body mass at 10.4 ± 0.4 days. SMNΔ7 SMA mice exhibit impaired responses to surface righting, negative geotaxis and cliff aversion but not to tactile stimulation. Spontaneous motor activity and grip strength are also significantly impaired in SMNΔ7 SMA mice. In summary, we have demonstrated an impairment of neonatal motor responses in SMNΔ7 SMA mice. This phenotype characterization could be used to assess the effectiveness of potential therapies for SMA. PMID:17561409

  19. Treatment of Spinal Epidural Abscess and Predisposing Factors of Motor Weakness: Experience with 48 Patients

    PubMed Central

    Ju, Min-Wook; Kwon, Hyon-Jo; Kim, Seon-Hwan; Koh, Hyeon-Song; Youm, Jin-Young; Song, Shi-Hun

    2015-01-01

    Objective Spinal epidural abscess (SEA) can be fatal if untreated, so early diagnosis and treatment are essential. We conducted a retrospective study to define its clinical features and evaluate the risk factors of motor weakness. Methods We retrospectively analyzed the medical records and images of patients with SEA who had been hospitalized in our institute from January 2005 to June 2012. Pyogenic SEA patients were categorized as patients without motor weakness (Group A) and with motor weakness (Group B). Abscess volume was measured using the Gamma-Plan program. Intervertebral foramen height and posterior disc height were measured to evaluate degree of spinal stenosis. Results Of 48 patients with pyogenic SEA, 33 (68%) were treated surgically, and 15 (32%) were treated with antibiotics. Eleven patients had weakness and abscess volume was unrelated to motor weakness. Old age, 'spare room' (abscess volume subtracted from spinal volume) and intervertebral foramen height and posterior disc height were statistically significant. Among the 48 patients, 43 (85%) had good outcome and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) was the only meaningful prognostic factor (p=0.014). The cut-off value of ESR was 112mm/h with 80% sensitivity and 79% specificity and had borderline significance (p=0.062). Conclusion SEA needs emergent diagnosis and treatment. Motor weakness is the most important factor in treatment decision. By careful image reading, early surgical treatment can be an option for selected patients with severe spinal stenosis for prevent motor weakness. Inflammatory markers, especially ESR, are valuable to identify worsening of SEA. PMID:26512265

  20. Motor Cortex Stimulation Reverses Maladaptive Plasticity Following Spinal Cord Injury

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-01

    P, Eccles JC, Sears TA (1962) Presynaptic inhibitory action of cerebral cortex on the spinal cord. Nature 194:740–741. Davoody L, Quiton RL, Lucas...metabolites of interest such as g-aminobutyric acid, glutamine, glutamate, myo-inositol, N-acetylaspartate, taurine , glycerophosphorylcholine/phos...acetylaspartate, NAAG ¼ N-acetylaspartylglutamate, tCho ¼ glycerophosphocholine þ phosphocholine, Tau ¼ taurine , M1 ¼ macromolecule at 0.92 ppm, M2

  1. Separation of spinal cord motor signals using the FastICA method.

    PubMed

    Tie, Yanmei; Sahin, Mesut

    2005-12-01

    Evoked motor signals descending down the corticospinal tract can be recorded selectively with multi-contact electrodes from the spinal cord surface. This method of extracting motor signals from the spinal cord may provide a means of communication for people with spinal cord injury. The information rate obtained with such an interface will improve if the separation of neural channels can be increased. In this study, the feasibility of increasing the channel separation was investigated using the blind source separation (BSS) technique. Neural signals recorded with multi-contact surface electrodes were treated as a linear mixture of independent neural sources located inside the spinal cord. Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to estimate the dimensionality of the raw signals, and then the fixed-point FastICA algorithm was used to separate the primary neural sources from the secondary (smaller) ones. In all trials but one, the separation between the neural channels has increased by eliminating the secondary sources. These results suggest that the information rate of a spinal cord interface can be improved by separating the neural recordings into their independent components and selecting the ones with the largest distance between them. Comparison of independent component analysis (ICA) and PCA reveals that ICA performs better in this application.

  2. Rhythmic motor activity evoked by NMDA in the spinal zebrafish larva.

    PubMed

    McDearmid, Jonathan R; Drapeau, Pierre

    2006-01-01

    We have examined the localization and activity of the neural circuitry that generates swimming behavior in developing zebrafish that were spinalized to isolate the spinal cord from descending brain inputs. We found that addition of the excitatory amino acid agonist N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) to spinalized zebrafish at 3 days in development induced repeating episodes of rhythmic tail beating activity reminiscent of slow swimming behavior. The neural correlate of this activity, monitored by extracellular recording comprised repeating episodes of rhythmic, rostrocaudally progressing peripheral nerve discharges that alternated between the two sides of the body. Motoneuron recordings revealed an activity pattern comprising a slow oscillatory and a fast synaptic component that was consistent with fictive swimming behavior. Pharmacological and voltage-clamp analysis implicated glycine and glutamate in generation of motoneuron activity. Contralateral alternation of motor activity was disrupted with strychnine, indicating a role for glycine in coordinating left-right alternation during NMDA-induced locomotion. At embryonic stages, while rhythmic synaptic activity patterns could still be evoked in motoneurons, they were typically lower in frequency. Kinematic recordings revealed that prior to 3 days in development, NMDA was unable to reliably generate rhythmic tail beating behavior. We conclude that NMDA induces episodes of rhythmic motor activity in spinalized developing zebrafish that can be monitored physiologically in paralyzed preparations. Therefore as for other vertebrates, the zebrafish central pattern generator is intrinsic to the spinal cord and can operate in isolation provided a tonic source of excitation is given.

  3. Spinal 5-HT7 receptors induce phrenic motor facilitation via EPAC-mTORC1 signaling

    PubMed Central

    Fields, D. P.; Springborn, S. R.

    2015-01-01

    Spinal serotonin type 7 (5-HT7) receptors elicit complex effects on motor activity. Whereas 5-HT7 receptor activation gives rise to long-lasting phrenic motor facilitation (pMF), it also constrains 5-HT2 receptor-induced pMF via “cross-talk inhibition.” We hypothesized that divergent cAMP-dependent signaling pathways give rise to these distinct 5-HT7 receptor actions. Specifically, we hypothesized that protein kinase A (PKA) mediates cross-talk inhibition of 5-HT2 receptor-induced pMF whereas 5-HT7 receptor-induced pMF results from exchange protein activated by cAMP (EPAC) signaling. Anesthetized, paralyzed, and ventilated rats receiving intrathecal (C4) 5-HT7 receptor agonist (AS-19) injections expressed pMF for >90 min, an effect abolished by pretreatment with a selective EPAC inhibitor (ESI-05) but not a selective PKA inhibitor (KT-5720). Furthermore, intrathecal injections of a selective EPAC activator (8-pCPT-2′-Me-cAMP) were sufficient to elicit pMF. Finally, spinal mammalian target of rapamycin complex-1 (mTORC1) inhibition via intrathecal rapamycin abolished 5-HT7 receptor- and EPAC-induced pMF, demonstrating that spinal 5-HT7 receptors elicit pMF by an EPAC-mTORC1 signaling pathway. Thus 5-HT7 receptors elicit and constrain spinal phrenic motor plasticity via distinct signaling mechanisms that diverge at cAMP (EPAC vs. PKA). Selective manipulation of these molecules may enable refined regulation of serotonin-dependent spinal motor plasticity for therapeutic advantage. PMID:26269554

  4. Spinal 5-HT7 receptors induce phrenic motor facilitation via EPAC-mTORC1 signaling.

    PubMed

    Fields, D P; Springborn, S R; Mitchell, G S

    2015-09-01

    Spinal serotonin type 7 (5-HT7) receptors elicit complex effects on motor activity. Whereas 5-HT7 receptor activation gives rise to long-lasting phrenic motor facilitation (pMF), it also constrains 5-HT2 receptor-induced pMF via "cross-talk inhibition." We hypothesized that divergent cAMP-dependent signaling pathways give rise to these distinct 5-HT7 receptor actions. Specifically, we hypothesized that protein kinase A (PKA) mediates cross-talk inhibition of 5-HT2 receptor-induced pMF whereas 5-HT7 receptor-induced pMF results from exchange protein activated by cAMP (EPAC) signaling. Anesthetized, paralyzed, and ventilated rats receiving intrathecal (C4) 5-HT7 receptor agonist (AS-19) injections expressed pMF for >90 min, an effect abolished by pretreatment with a selective EPAC inhibitor (ESI-05) but not a selective PKA inhibitor (KT-5720). Furthermore, intrathecal injections of a selective EPAC activator (8-pCPT-2'-Me-cAMP) were sufficient to elicit pMF. Finally, spinal mammalian target of rapamycin complex-1 (mTORC1) inhibition via intrathecal rapamycin abolished 5-HT7 receptor- and EPAC-induced pMF, demonstrating that spinal 5-HT7 receptors elicit pMF by an EPAC-mTORC1 signaling pathway. Thus 5-HT7 receptors elicit and constrain spinal phrenic motor plasticity via distinct signaling mechanisms that diverge at cAMP (EPAC vs. PKA). Selective manipulation of these molecules may enable refined regulation of serotonin-dependent spinal motor plasticity for therapeutic advantage.

  5. Modeling trans-spinal direct current stimulation for the modulation of the lumbar spinal motor pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuck, A.; Stegeman, D. F.; van Asseldonk, E. H. F.

    2017-10-01

    Objective. Trans-spinal direct current stimulation (tsDCS) is a potential new technique for the treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI). TsDCS aims to facilitate plastic changes in the neural pathways of the spinal cord with a positive effect on SCI recovery. To establish tsDCS as a possible treatment option for SCI, it is essential to gain a better understanding of its cause and effects. We seek to understand the acute effect of tsDCS, including the generated electric field (EF) and its polarization effect on the spinal circuits, to determine a cellular target. We further ask how these findings can be interpreted to explain published experimental results. Approach. We use a realistic full body finite element volume conductor model to calculate the EF of a 2.5 mA direct current for three different electrode configurations. We apply the calculated electric field to realistic motoneuron models to investigate static changes in membrane resting potential. The results are combined with existing knowledge about the theoretical effect on a neuronal level and implemented into an existing lumbar spinal network model to simulate the resulting changes on a network level. Main results. Across electrode configurations, the maximum EF inside the spinal cord ranged from 0.47 V m‑1 to 0.82 V m‑1. Axon terminal polarization was identified to be the dominant cellular target. Also, differences in electrode placement have a large influence on axon terminal polarization. Comparison between the simulated acute effects and the electrophysiological long-term changes observed in human tsDCS studies suggest an inverse relationship between the two. Significance. We provide methods and knowledge for better understanding the effects of tsDCS and serve as a basis for a more targeted and optimized application of tsDCS.

  6. The role of spinal manipulation in addressing disordered sensorimotor integration and altered motor control.

    PubMed

    Haavik, Heidi; Murphy, Bernadette

    2012-10-01

    This review provides an overview of some of the growing body of research on the effects of spinal manipulation on sensory processing, motor output, functional performance and sensorimotor integration. It describes a body of work using somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs), transcranial magnetic nerve stimulation, and electromyographic techniques to demonstrate neurophysiological changes following spinal manipulation. This work contributes to the understanding of how an initial episode(s) of back or neck pain may lead to ongoing changes in input from the spine which over time lead to altered sensorimotor integration of input from the spine and limbs.

  7. Down-regulation of apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1) in spinal motor neurones under oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Chu, Tak-Ho; Guo, Anchen; Wu, Wutian

    2014-06-01

    Apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1) is an intermediate enzyme in base excision repair which is important for removing damaged nucleotides under normal and pathological conditions. Accumulation of damaged bases causes genome instability and jeopardizes cell survival. Our study is to examine APE1 regulation under oxidative stress in spinal motor neurones which are vulnerable to oxidative insult. We challenged the motor neurone-like cell line NSC-34 with hydrogen peroxide and delineated APE1 function by applying various inhibitors. We also examined the expression of APE1 in spinal motor neurones after spinal root avulsion in adult rats. We showed that hydrogen peroxide induced APE1 down-regulation and cell death in a differentiated motor neurone-like cell line. Inhibiting the two functional domains of APE1, namely, DNA repair and redox domains potentiated hydrogen peroxide induced cell death. We further showed that p53 phosphorylation early after hydrogen peroxide treatment might contribute to the down-regulation of APE1. Our in vivo results similarly showed that APE1 was down-regulated after root avulsion injury in spinal motor neurones. Delay of motor neurone death suggested that APE1 might not cause immediate cell death but render motor neurones vulnerable to further oxidative insults. We conclude that spinal motor neurones down-regulate APE1 upon oxidative stress. This property renders motor neurones susceptible to continuous challenge of oxidative stress in pathological conditions. © 2013 British Neuropathological Society.

  8. Effect of percutaneous stimulation at different spinal levels on the activation of sensory and motor roots.

    PubMed

    Roy, François D; Gibson, Grady; Stein, Richard B

    2012-11-01

    Percutaneous spinal stimulation is a promising new technique for understanding human spinal reflexes and for evaluating the pathophysiology of motor roots. Previous studies have generally stimulated the T11/T12 or T12/L1 vertebral junctions, sites that overlie the lumbosacral enlargement. The present study sought to determine the best location for targeting sensory and motor roots during sitting. We used paired stimuli, 50 ms apart, to distinguish the contribution of the reflex and motor components which make up the root evoked potential. This assumed that post-stimulation attenuation, primarily through homosynaptic depression, would abolish the second potential if it was trans-synaptic in origin. Conversely, successive responses would be unchanged if motor roots were being stimulated. Here, we show that sensory root reflexes were optimally elicited with percutaneous stimulation over the L1-L3 vertebrae. However, the optimal position varied between subjects and depended on the target muscle being studied. A collision test showed that the reflex recorded in pre-tibial flexors was low in amplitude and was prone to crosstalk from neighbouring muscles. In contrast to the reflex response, direct motor root activation was optimal with stimulation over the more caudal L5-S1 vertebrae. The present results support the utility of paired stimulation for evaluating the topographical recruitment of sensory and motor roots to human leg muscles.

  9. Concentrations of trace minerals in the spinal cord of horses with equine motor neuron disease.

    PubMed

    Polack, E W; King, J M; Cummings, J F; Mohammed, H O; Birch, M; Cronin, T

    2000-06-01

    To compare concentrations of trace minerals in the spinal cord of horses with equine motor neuron disease (EMND) with those of horses without neurologic disease (control horses). 24 horses with EMND and 22 control horses. Spinal cord trace mineral concentrations in horses with EMND and control horses were analyzed by use of inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, zinc, aluminum, cobalt, and chromium), atomic absorption spectrophotometry (lead and cadmium), flameless atomic absorption (mercury), and fluorometry (selenium). Copper concentration was significantly higher in the spinal cord of horses with EMND, compared with control horses; spinal cord concentrations of all other trace minerals were similar between groups. Among spinal cord trace minerals investigated in the study, only copper concentrations were significantly different between horses with EMND and horses without neurologic disease, which suggests that copper may be involved in the pathogenesis of EMND. An hypothesis of oxidative injury in this disease is supported by the finding of increased copper concentrations in the spinal cord and by low vitamin E concentrations reported by other researchers.

  10. GDNF plasma levels in spina bifida: correlation with severity of spinal damage and motor function.

    PubMed

    Chiaretti, Antonio; Rendeli, Claudia; Antonelli, Alessia; Barone, Giuseppe; Focarelli, Benedetta; Tabacco, Fabrizia; Massimi, Luca; Ausili, Emanuele

    2008-12-01

    Glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is one of several powerful survival factors for spinal motoneurons that play a key role in sprouting, synaptic plasticity, and reorganization after spinal cord damage. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of GDNF in plasma of children with spina bifida (SB) and to determine its correlation with both the severity of spinal cord damage and the motor function of these patients. To measure the GDNF expression, we collected plasma samples from 152 children with SB and in 149 matched controls. Endogenous GDNF levels were quantified using a two-site immuno-enzymatic assay. The statistical analysis was performed using the Mann-Whitney two-tailed two-sample test. In children with SB the mean levels of GDNF (131.2 +/- 69.6 pg/mL) were significantly higher (p < 0.001) with respect to the mean levels of the control group (102.7 +/- 6.8 pg/mL). Moreover, in open SB, the GDNF levels (139.2 +/- 81.1 pg/mL) were significantly higher (p < 0.05) with respect to closed SB (117.2 +/- 41.3 pg/mL). In terms of the motor function of patients, we found that in children with poorer motor function, the GDNF levels (134.5 +/- 67.4 pg/mL) were higher, but not statistically significant (p < 0.1), than in patients with better motor outcome (122.3 +/- 72.2 pg/mL). Our study demonstrates GDNF over-expression in children with SB. This upregulation is significantly associated with the severity of spinal cord damage in SB patients and appears to correlate with poor motor function of children, representing an important biochemical marker of the severity of spine injury.

  11. Bioenergetic status modulates motor neuron vulnerability and pathogenesis in a zebrafish model of spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Boyd, Penelope J.; Shorrock, Hannah K.; Carter, Roderick N.; Powis, Rachael A.; Thomson, Sophie R.; Thomson, Derek; Graham, Laura C.; Motyl, Anna A. L.; Highley, J. Robin; Becker, Thomas; Becker, Catherina G.; Heath, Paul R.

    2017-01-01

    Degeneration and loss of lower motor neurons is the major pathological hallmark of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), resulting from low levels of ubiquitously-expressed survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. One remarkable, yet unresolved, feature of SMA is that not all motor neurons are equally affected, with some populations displaying a robust resistance to the disease. Here, we demonstrate that selective vulnerability of distinct motor neuron pools arises from fundamental modifications to their basal molecular profiles. Comparative gene expression profiling of motor neurons innervating the extensor digitorum longus (disease-resistant), gastrocnemius (intermediate vulnerability), and tibialis anterior (vulnerable) muscles in mice revealed that disease susceptibility correlates strongly with a modified bioenergetic profile. Targeting of identified bioenergetic pathways by enhancing mitochondrial biogenesis rescued motor axon defects in SMA zebrafish. Moreover, targeting of a single bioenergetic protein, phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (Pgk1), was found to modulate motor neuron vulnerability in vivo. Knockdown of pgk1 alone was sufficient to partially mimic the SMA phenotype in wild-type zebrafish. Conversely, Pgk1 overexpression, or treatment with terazosin (an FDA-approved small molecule that binds and activates Pgk1), rescued motor axon phenotypes in SMA zebrafish. We conclude that global bioenergetics pathways can be therapeutically manipulated to ameliorate SMA motor neuron phenotypes in vivo. PMID:28426667

  12. Bioenergetic status modulates motor neuron vulnerability and pathogenesis in a zebrafish model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Boyd, Penelope J; Tu, Wen-Yo; Shorrock, Hannah K; Groen, Ewout J N; Carter, Roderick N; Powis, Rachael A; Thomson, Sophie R; Thomson, Derek; Graham, Laura C; Motyl, Anna A L; Wishart, Thomas M; Highley, J Robin; Morton, Nicholas M; Becker, Thomas; Becker, Catherina G; Heath, Paul R; Gillingwater, Thomas H

    2017-04-01

    Degeneration and loss of lower motor neurons is the major pathological hallmark of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), resulting from low levels of ubiquitously-expressed survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. One remarkable, yet unresolved, feature of SMA is that not all motor neurons are equally affected, with some populations displaying a robust resistance to the disease. Here, we demonstrate that selective vulnerability of distinct motor neuron pools arises from fundamental modifications to their basal molecular profiles. Comparative gene expression profiling of motor neurons innervating the extensor digitorum longus (disease-resistant), gastrocnemius (intermediate vulnerability), and tibialis anterior (vulnerable) muscles in mice revealed that disease susceptibility correlates strongly with a modified bioenergetic profile. Targeting of identified bioenergetic pathways by enhancing mitochondrial biogenesis rescued motor axon defects in SMA zebrafish. Moreover, targeting of a single bioenergetic protein, phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (Pgk1), was found to modulate motor neuron vulnerability in vivo. Knockdown of pgk1 alone was sufficient to partially mimic the SMA phenotype in wild-type zebrafish. Conversely, Pgk1 overexpression, or treatment with terazosin (an FDA-approved small molecule that binds and activates Pgk1), rescued motor axon phenotypes in SMA zebrafish. We conclude that global bioenergetics pathways can be therapeutically manipulated to ameliorate SMA motor neuron phenotypes in vivo.

  13. Why New Spinal Cord Plasticity Does Not Disrupt Old Motor Behaviors.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yi; Chen, Lu; Wang, Yu; Chen, Xiang Yang; Wolpaw, Jonathan R

    2017-08-23

    When new motor learning changes the spinal cord, old behaviors are not impaired; their key features are preserved by additional compensatory plasticity. To explore the mechanisms responsible for this compensatory plasticity, we transected the spinal dorsal ascending tract before or after female rats acquired a new behavior-operantly conditioned increase or decrease in the right soleus H-reflex-and examined an old behavior-locomotion. Neither spinal dorsal ascending tract transection nor H-reflex conditioning alone impaired locomotion. Nevertheless, when spinal dorsal ascending tract transection and H-reflex conditioning were combined, the rats developed a limp and a tilted posture that correlated in direction and magnitude with the H-reflex change. When the right H-reflex was increased by conditioning, the right step lasted longer than the left and the right hip was higher than the left; when the right H-reflex was decreased by conditioning, the opposite occurred. These results indicate that ascending sensory input guides the compensatory plasticity that normally prevents the plasticity underlying H-reflex change from impairing locomotion. They support the concept of the state of the spinal cord as a negotiated equilibrium that reflects the concurrent influences of all the behaviors in an individual's repertoire; and they support the new therapeutic strategies this concept introduces.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The spinal cord provides a reliable final common pathway for motor behaviors throughout life. Until recently, its reliability was explained by the assumption that it is hardwired; but it is now clear that the spinal cord changes continually as new behaviors are acquired. Nevertheless, old behaviors are preserved. This study shows that their preservation depends on sensory feedback from the spinal cord to the brain: if feedback is removed, the acquisition of a new behavior may disrupt an old behavior. In sum, when a new behavior changes the spinal cord, sensory

  14. Tail Nerve Electrical Stimulation and Electro-Acupuncture Can Protect Spinal Motor Neurons and Alleviate Muscle Atrophy after Spinal Cord Transection in Rats.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu-Ting; Jin, Hui; Wang, Jun-Hua; Wen, Lan-Yu; Yang, Yang; Ruan, Jing-Wen; Zhang, Shu-Xin; Ling, Eng-Ang; Ding, Ying; Zeng, Yuan-Shan

    2017-01-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) often results in death of spinal neurons and atrophy of muscles which they govern. Thus, following SCI, reorganizing the lumbar spinal sensorimotor pathways is crucial to alleviate muscle atrophy. Tail nerve electrical stimulation (TANES) has been shown to activate the central pattern generator (CPG) and improve the locomotion recovery of spinal contused rats. Electroacupuncture (EA) is a traditional Chinese medical practice which has been proven to have a neural protective effect. Here, we examined the effects of TANES and EA on lumbar motor neurons and hindlimb muscle in spinal transected rats, respectively. From the third day postsurgery, rats in the TANES group were treated 5 times a week and those in the EA group were treated once every other day. Four weeks later, both TANES and EA showed a significant impact in promoting survival of lumbar motor neurons and expression of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and ameliorating atrophy of hindlimb muscle after SCI. Meanwhile, the expression of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) in the same spinal cord segment was significantly increased. These findings suggest that TANES and EA can augment the expression of NT-3 in the lumbar spinal cord that appears to protect the motor neurons as well as alleviate muscle atrophy.

  15. Tail Nerve Electrical Stimulation and Electro-Acupuncture Can Protect Spinal Motor Neurons and Alleviate Muscle Atrophy after Spinal Cord Transection in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yu-Ting; Jin, Hui; Wang, Jun-Hua; Wen, Lan-Yu; Yang, Yang; Ruan, Jing-Wen; Zhang, Shu-Xin; Ling, Eng-Ang

    2017-01-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) often results in death of spinal neurons and atrophy of muscles which they govern. Thus, following SCI, reorganizing the lumbar spinal sensorimotor pathways is crucial to alleviate muscle atrophy. Tail nerve electrical stimulation (TANES) has been shown to activate the central pattern generator (CPG) and improve the locomotion recovery of spinal contused rats. Electroacupuncture (EA) is a traditional Chinese medical practice which has been proven to have a neural protective effect. Here, we examined the effects of TANES and EA on lumbar motor neurons and hindlimb muscle in spinal transected rats, respectively. From the third day postsurgery, rats in the TANES group were treated 5 times a week and those in the EA group were treated once every other day. Four weeks later, both TANES and EA showed a significant impact in promoting survival of lumbar motor neurons and expression of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and ameliorating atrophy of hindlimb muscle after SCI. Meanwhile, the expression of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) in the same spinal cord segment was significantly increased. These findings suggest that TANES and EA can augment the expression of NT-3 in the lumbar spinal cord that appears to protect the motor neurons as well as alleviate muscle atrophy. PMID:28744378

  16. Intraoperative monitoring during decompression of the spinal cord and spinal nerves using transcranial motor-evoked potentials: The law of twenty percent.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Satoshi; Hirao, Jun; Oka, Hidehiro; Akimoto, Jiro; Takanashi, Junko; Yamada, Junichi

    2015-09-01

    Motor-evoked potential (MEP) monitoring was performed during 196 consecutive spinal (79 cervical and 117 lumbar) surgeries for the decompression of compressive spinal and spinal nerve diseases. MEP monitoring in spinal surgery has been considered sensitive to predict postoperative neurological recovery. In this series, transcranial stimulation consisted of trains of five pulses at a constant voltage (200-600 V). For the normalization of MEP, we recorded compound muscle action potentials (CMAP) after peripheral nerve stimulation, usually on the median nerve at the wrist 2 seconds before or after each transcranial stimulation of the motor area, for all operations. The sensitivity and specificity of MEP monitoring was 100% and 97.4%, respectively, or 96.9% with or without CMAP compensation (if the threshold of postoperative motor palsy was defined as 20% relative amplitude rate [RAR]). The mean RAR after CMAP normalization, of the most affected muscle in the patient group with excellent postoperative results (recovery rate of a Japan Orthopedic Association score of more than 50%) was significantly higher than that in the other groups (p=0.0224). All patients with an amplitude increase rate (AIR) with CMAP normalization of more than 20% achieved neurological recovery postoperatively. Our results suggest that if the RAR is more than 20%, postoperative motor palsy can be avoided in spinal surgery. If the AIR with normalization by CMAP after peripheral nerve stimulation is more than 20%, neurological recovery can be expected in spinal surgery.

  17. IPLEX administration improves motor neuron survival and ameliorates motor functions in a severe mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Murdocca, Michela; Malgieri, Arianna; Luchetti, Andrea; Saieva, Luciano; Dobrowolny, Gabriella; de Leonibus, Elvira; Filareto, Antonio; Quitadamo, Maria Chiara; Novelli, Giuseppe; Musarò, Antonio; Sangiuolo, Federica

    2012-09-25

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder and the first genetic cause of death in childhood. SMA is caused by low levels of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein that induce selective loss of α-motor neurons (MNs) in the spinal cord, resulting in progressive muscle atrophy and consequent respiratory failure. To date, no effective treatment is available to counteract the course of the disease. Among the different therapeutic strategies with potential clinical applications, the evaluation of trophic and/or protective agents able to antagonize MNs degeneration represents an attractive opportunity to develop valid therapies. Here we investigated the effects of IPLEX (recombinant human insulinlike growth factor 1 [rhIGF-1] complexed with recombinant human IGF-1 binding protein 3 [rhIGFBP-3]) on a severe mouse model of SMA. Interestingly, molecular and biochemical analyses of IGF-1 carried out in SMA mice before drug administration revealed marked reductions of IGF-1 circulating levels and hepatic mRNA expression. In this study, we found that perinatal administration of IPLEX, even if does not influence survival and body weight of mice, results in reduced degeneration of MNs, increased muscle fiber size and in amelioration of motor functions in SMA mice. Additionally, we show that phenotypic changes observed are not SMN-dependent, since no significant SMN modification was addressed in treated mice. Collectively, our data indicate IPLEX as a good therapeutic candidate to hinder the progression of the neurodegenerative process in SMA.

  18. Motor primitives and synergies in spinal cord and after injury– the current state of play

    PubMed Central

    Giszter, Simon F.; Hart, Corey B.

    2013-01-01

    Modular pattern generator elements, also known as burst synergies or motor primitives, have become a useful and important way of describing motor behavior, albeit controversial. It is suggested that these synergy elements may comprise part of the pattern shaping layers of a McCrea/Rybak two layer pattern generator, as well as being used in other ways in spinal cord. The data supporting modular synergies ranges across species including man and encompasses motor pattern analyses and neural recordings. Recently, synergy persistence and changes following clinical trauma have been presented. These new data underscore the importance of understanding the modular structure of motor behaviors and the underlying circuitry in order to best provide principled therapies and to understand phenomena reported in the clinic. We discuss the evidence and different viewpoints on modularity, the neural underpinnings identified thus far, and possible critical issues for the future of this area. PMID:23531009

  19. Two chronic motor training paradigms differentially influence acute instrumental learning in spinally transected rats.

    PubMed

    Bigbee, Allison J; Crown, Eric D; Ferguson, Adam R; Roy, Roland R; Tillakaratne, Niranjala J K; Grau, James W; Edgerton, V Reggie

    2007-06-04

    The effect of two chronic motor training paradigms on the ability of the lumbar spinal cord to perform an acute instrumental learning task was examined in neonatally (postnatal day 5; P5) spinal cord transected (i.e., spinal) rats. At approximately P30, rats began either unipedal hindlimb stand training (Stand-Tr; 20-25min/day, 5days/week), or bipedal hindlimb step training (Step-Tr; 20min/day; 5days/week) for 7 weeks. Non-trained spinal rats (Non-Tr) served as controls. After 7 weeks all groups were tested on the flexor-biased instrumental learning paradigm. We hypothesized that (1) Step-Tr rats would exhibit an increased capacity to learn the flexor-biased task relative to Non-Tr subjects, as locomotion involves repetitive training of the tibialis anterior (TA), the ankle flexor whose activation is important for successful instrumental learning, and (2) Stand-Tr rats would exhibit a deficit in acute motor learning, as unipedal training activates the ipsilateral ankle extensors, but not flexors. Results showed no differences in acute learning potential between Non-Tr and Step-Tr rats, while the Stand-Tr group showed a reduced capacity to learn the acute task. Further investigation of the Stand-Tr group showed that, while both the ipsilateral and contralateral hindlimbs were significantly impaired in their acute learning potential, the contralateral, untrained hindlimbs exhibited significantly greater learning deficits. These results suggest that different types of chronic peripheral input may have a significant impact on the ability to learn a novel motor task, and demonstrate the potential for experience-dependent plasticity in the spinal cord in the absence of supraspinal connectivity.

  20. Radial Glia Inhibit Peripheral Glial Infiltration into the Spinal Cord at Motor Exit Point Transition Zones

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Cody J.; Johnson, Kimberly; Welsh, Taylor G.; Barresi, Michael J. F.; Kucenas, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    In the mature vertebrate nervous system, central and peripheral nervous system (CNS and PNS, respectively) GLIA myelinate distinct motor axon domains at the motor exit point transition zone (MEP TZ). How these cells preferentially associate with and myelinate discrete, non-overlapping CNS versus PNS axonal segments, is unknown. Using in vivo imaging and genetic cell ablation in zebrafish, we demonstrate that radial glia restrict migration of PNS glia into the spinal cord during development. Prior to development of radial glial endfeet, peripheral cells freely migrate back and forth across the MEP TZ. However, upon maturation, peripherally located cells never enter the CNS. When we ablate radial glia, peripheral glia ectopically migrate into the spinal cord during developmental stages when they would normally be restricted. These findings demonstrate that radial glia contribute to both CNS and PNS development and control the unidirectional movement of glial cell types across the MEP TZ early in development. PMID:27029762

  1. Motor Neuron Diseases Accompanying Spinal Stenosis: A Case Study.

    PubMed

    Shin, HyeonJu; Park, Sun Kyung; HaeJin, Suh; Choi, Yun Suk

    2016-03-01

    A 75-year-old man, who was healthy, visited the hospital because of shooting pain and numbness in both lower limbs (right > left). The patient had an L4/5 moderate right foraminal stenosis and right subarticular disc protrusion and received a lumbar epidural block. The patient experienced severe weakness in the right lower limb after 2 days. Lumbar and cervical magnetic resonance images were taken and electromyography and a nerve conduction study were performed to arrive at the diagnosis of a motor neuron disease. The patient expired 4 months later with respiratory failure due to motor neuron disease. This case suggests that any abnormal neurological symptoms that occur after an epidural block should be examined thoroughly via testing and consultations to identify the cause of the symptoms.

  2. Neuromodulation of motor-evoked potentials during stepping in spinal rats

    PubMed Central

    Gad, Parag; Lavrov, Igor; Shah, Prithvi; Zhong, Hui; Roy, Roland R.; Gerasimenko, Yury

    2013-01-01

    The rat spinal cord isolated from supraspinal control via a complete low- to midthoracic spinal cord transection produces locomotor-like patterns in the hindlimbs when facilitated pharmacologically and/or by epidural electrical stimulation. To evaluate the role of epidural electrical stimulation in enabling motor control (eEmc) for locomotion and posture, we recorded potentials evoked by epidural spinal cord stimulation in selected hindlimb muscles during stepping and standing in adult spinal rats. We hypothesized that the temporal details of the phase-dependent modulation of these evoked potentials in selected hindlimb muscles while performing a motor task in the unanesthetized state would be predictive of the potential of the spinal circuitries to generate stepping. To test this hypothesis, we characterized soleus and tibialis anterior (TA) muscle responses as middle response (MR; 4–6 ms) or late responses (LRs; >7 ms) during stepping with eEmc. We then compared these responses to the stepping parameters with and without a serotoninergic agonist (quipazine) or a glycinergic blocker (strychnine). Quipazine inhibited the MRs induced by eEmc during nonweight-bearing standing but facilitated locomotion and increased the amplitude and number of LRs induced by eEmc during stepping. Strychnine facilitated stepping and reorganized the LRs pattern in the soleus. The LRs in the TA remained relatively stable at varying loads and speeds during locomotion, whereas the LRs in the soleus were strongly modulated by both of these variables. These data suggest that LRs facilitated electrically and/or pharmacologically are not time-locked to the stimulation pulse but are highly correlated to the stepping patterns of spinal rats. PMID:23761695

  3. Neuromodulation of motor-evoked potentials during stepping in spinal rats.

    PubMed

    Gad, Parag; Lavrov, Igor; Shah, Prithvi; Zhong, Hui; Roy, Roland R; Edgerton, V Reggie; Gerasimenko, Yury

    2013-09-01

    The rat spinal cord isolated from supraspinal control via a complete low- to midthoracic spinal cord transection produces locomotor-like patterns in the hindlimbs when facilitated pharmacologically and/or by epidural electrical stimulation. To evaluate the role of epidural electrical stimulation in enabling motor control (eEmc) for locomotion and posture, we recorded potentials evoked by epidural spinal cord stimulation in selected hindlimb muscles during stepping and standing in adult spinal rats. We hypothesized that the temporal details of the phase-dependent modulation of these evoked potentials in selected hindlimb muscles while performing a motor task in the unanesthetized state would be predictive of the potential of the spinal circuitries to generate stepping. To test this hypothesis, we characterized soleus and tibialis anterior (TA) muscle responses as middle response (MR; 4-6 ms) or late responses (LRs; >7 ms) during stepping with eEmc. We then compared these responses to the stepping parameters with and without a serotoninergic agonist (quipazine) or a glycinergic blocker (strychnine). Quipazine inhibited the MRs induced by eEmc during nonweight-bearing standing but facilitated locomotion and increased the amplitude and number of LRs induced by eEmc during stepping. Strychnine facilitated stepping and reorganized the LRs pattern in the soleus. The LRs in the TA remained relatively stable at varying loads and speeds during locomotion, whereas the LRs in the soleus were strongly modulated by both of these variables. These data suggest that LRs facilitated electrically and/or pharmacologically are not time-locked to the stimulation pulse but are highly correlated to the stepping patterns of spinal rats.

  4. Twitch and tetanic properties of human thenar motor units paralyzed by chronic spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Häger-Ross, C K; Klein, C S; Thomas, C K

    2006-07-01

    Little is known about how human motor units respond to chronic paralysis. Our aim was to record surface electromyographic (EMG) signals, twitch forces, and tetanic forces from paralyzed motor units in the thenar muscles of individuals (n = 12) with chronic (1.5-19 yr) cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). Each motor unit was activated by intraneural stimulation of its motor axon using single pulses and trains of pulses at frequencies between 5 and 100 Hz. Paralyzed motor units (n = 48) had small EMGs and weak tetanic forces (n = 32 units) but strong twitch forces, resulting in half-maximal force being achieved at a median of only 8 Hz. The distributions for cumulative twitch and tetanic forces also separated less for paralyzed units than for control units, indicating that increases in stimulation frequency made a smaller relative contribution to the total force output in paralyzed muscles. Paralysis also induced slowing of conduction velocities, twitch contraction times and EMG durations. However, the elevated ratios between the twitch and the tetanic forces, but not contractile speed, correlated significantly with the extent to which unit force summated in response to different frequencies of stimulation. Despite changes in the absolute values of many electrical and mechanical properties of paralyzed motor units, most of the distributions shifted uniformly relative to those of thenar units obtained from control subjects. Thus human thenar muscles paralyzed by SCI retain a population of motor units with heterogeneous contractile properties because chronic paralysis influenced all of the motor units similarly.

  5. Motor neurons control blood vessel patterning in the developing spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Himmels, Patricia; Paredes, Isidora; Adler, Heike; Karakatsani, Andromachi; Luck, Robert; Marti, Hugo H.; Ermakova, Olga; Rempel, Eugen; Stoeckli, Esther T.; Ruiz de Almodóvar, Carmen

    2017-01-01

    Formation of a precise vascular network within the central nervous system is of critical importance to assure delivery of oxygen and nutrients and for accurate functionality of neuronal networks. Vascularization of the spinal cord is a highly stereotypical process. However, the guidance cues controlling blood vessel patterning in this organ remain largely unknown. Here we describe a new neuro-vascular communication mechanism that controls vessel guidance in the developing spinal cord. We show that motor neuron columns remain avascular during a developmental time window, despite expressing high levels of the pro-angiogenic vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). We describe that motor neurons express the VEGF trapping receptor sFlt1 via a Neuropilin-1-dependent mechanism. Using a VEGF gain-of-function approach in mice and a motor neuron-specific sFlt1 loss-of-function approach in chicken, we show that motor neurons control blood vessel patterning by an autocrine mechanism that titrates motor neuron-derived VEGF via their own expression of sFlt1. PMID:28262664

  6. Systemic administration of antisense p75(NTR) oligodeoxynucleotides rescues axotomised spinal motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Lowry, K S; Murray, S S; Coulson, E J; Epa, R; Bartlett, P F; Barrett, G; Cheema, S S

    2001-04-01

    The 75 kD low-affinity neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR)) is expressed in developing and axotomised spinal motor neurons. There is now convincing evidence that p75(NTR) can, under some circumstances, become cytotoxic and promote neuronal cell death. We report here that a single application of antisense p75(NTR) oligodeoxynucleotides to the proximal nerve stumps of neonatal rats significantly reduces the loss of axotomised motor neurons compared to controls treated with nonsense oligodeoxynucleotides or phosphate-buffered saline. Our investigations also show that daily systemic intraperitoneal injections of antisense p75(NTR) oligodeoxynucleotides for 14 days significantly reduce the loss of axotomised motor neurons compared to controls. Furthermore, we found that systemic delivery over a similar period continues to be effective following axotomy when intraperitoneal injections were 1) administered after a delay of 24 hr, 2) limited to the first 7 days, or 3) administered every third day. In addition, p75(NTR) protein levels were reduced in spinal motor neurons following treatment with antisense p75(NTR) oligodeoxynucleotides. There were also no obvious side effects associated with antisense p75(NTR) oligodeoxynucleotide treatments as determined by behavioural observations and postnatal weight gain. Our findings indicate that antisense-based strategies could be a novel approach for the prevention of motor neuron degeneration associated with injuries or disease.

  7. Extraction of motor activity from the cervical spinal cord of behaving rats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prasad, Abhishek; Sahin, Mesut

    2006-12-01

    Injury at the cervical region of the spinal cord results in the loss of the skeletal muscle control from below the shoulders and hence causes quadriplegia. The brain-computer interface technique is one way of generating a substitute for the lost command signals in these severely paralyzed individuals using the neural signals from the brain. In this study, we are investigating the feasibility of an alternative method where the volitional signals are extracted from the cervical spinal cord above the point of injury. A microelectrode array assembly was implanted chronically at the C5-C6 level of the spinal cord in rats. Neural recordings were made during the face cleaning behavior with forelimbs as this task involves cyclic forelimb movements and does not require any training. The correlation between the volitional motor signals and the elbow movements was studied. Linear regression technique was used to reconstruct the arm movement from the rectified-integrated version of the principal neural components. The results of this study demonstrate the feasibility of extracting the motor signals from the cervical spinal cord and using them for reconstruction of the elbow movements.

  8. Motor exam of patients with spinal cord injury: a terminological imbroglio.

    PubMed

    Figueiredo, Nicandro

    2017-07-01

    The description of the motor deficit of patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) varies significantly, leading to confusion within the neurological terminology. This paper proposes a concise and easy to use terminology to describe the motor deficit of patients with SCI. A broad review of the origin of the nomenclature used to describe the motor deficit of patients with SCI was performed and discussed. The prefix: "hemi" should be used to describe paralysis of one half of the body; "mono" for one limb; "para" for lower limbs, di" for two symmetrical segments and/or parts in both sides of the body; "tri" for three limbs, or two limbs and one side of the face; and "tetra" for four limbs. The suffix: "plegia" should be used for total paralysis of a limb or part of the body, and "paresis" for partial paralysis. The term "brachial" refers to the upper limbs; and "podal" to the lower limbs. According to the spinal cord origin of the main key muscles for the limbs, patients with complete injury affecting spinal cord segments C1-5 usually presents with "tetraplegia"; C6-T1 presents with "paraplegia and brachial diparesis"; T2-L2 with "paraplegia"; and L3-S1 with "paraparesis".

  9. Motor recovery and the breathing arm after brachial plexus surgical repairs, including re-implantation of avulsed spinal roots into the spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Htut, M; Misra, V P; Anand, P; Birch, R; Carlstedt, T

    2007-04-01

    Forty-four patients with severe traction brachial plexus avulsion injuries were studied following surgical repairs. In eight patients, re-implanting avulsed spinal roots directly to the spinal cord was performed with other repairs and motor recovery in the proximal limb was similar to that achieved by conventional nerve grafts and transfers when assessed using the MRC clinical grades, Narakas scores, EMG and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). Thirty-four of the 37 patients had co-contractions of agonist and antagonist muscle groups. Spontaneous contractions of limb muscles in synchrony with respiration, the "breathing arm", were noted in 26 of 37 patients: in three patients, the source of the breathing arm was from spinal cord re-connection, providing evidence of regeneration from the CNS to the periphery. Our study shows that re-connection of avulsed spinal roots can produce good motor recovery and provides a clinical model for developing new treatments which may enhance nerve regeneration.

  10. Descending bulbospinal pathways and recovery of respiratory motor function following spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Vinit, Stéphane; Kastner, Anne

    2009-11-30

    The rodent respiratory system is a relevant model for study of the intrinsic post-lesion mechanisms of neuronal plasticity and resulting recovery after high cervical spinal cord injury. An unilateral cervical injury (hemisection, lateral section or contusion) interrupts unilaterally bulbospinal respiratory pathways to phrenic motor neurons innervating the diaphragm and leads to important respiratory defects on the injured side. However, the ipsilateral phrenic nerve exhibits a spontaneous and progressive recovery with post-lesion time. Shortly after a lateral injury, this partial recovery depends on the activation of contralateral pathways that cross the spinal midline caudal to the injury. Activation of these crossed phrenic pathways after the injury depends on the integrity of phrenic sensory afferents. These pathways are located principally in the lateral part of the spinal cord and involve 30% of the medullary respiratory neurons. By contrast, in chronic post-lesion conditions, the medial part of the spinal cord becomes sufficient to trigger substantial ipsilateral respiratory drive. Thus, after unilateral cervical spinal cord injury, respiratory reactivation is associated with a time-dependent anatomo-functional reorganization of the bulbospinal respiratory descending pathways, which represents an adaptative strategy for functional compensation.

  11. Induction of parkinsonism-related proteins in the spinal motor neurons of transgenic mouse carrying a mutant SOD1 gene.

    PubMed

    Morimoto, Nobutoshi; Nagai, Makiko; Miyazaki, Kazunori; Ohta, Yasuyuki; Kurata, Tomoko; Takehisa, Yasushi; Ikeda, Yoshio; Matsuura, Tohru; Asanuma, Masato; Abe, Koji

    2010-06-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive and fatal disease caused by selective death of motor neurons, and a number of these patients carry mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene involved in ameliorating oxidative stress. Recent studies indicate that oxidative stress and disruption of mitochondrial homeostasis is a common mechanism for motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and the loss of midbrain dopamine neurons in Parkinson's disease. Therefore, the present study investigated the presence and alterations of familial Parkinson's disease-related proteins, PINK1 and DJ-1, in spinal motor neurons of G93ASOD1 transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Following onset of disease, PINK1 and DJ-1 protein expression increased in the spinal motor neurons. The activated form of p53 also increased and translocated to the nuclei of spinal motor neurons, followed by increased expression of p53-activated gene 608 (PAG608). This is the first report demonstrating that increased expression of PAG608 correlates with activation of phosphorylated p53 in spinal motor neurons of an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis model. These results provide further evidence of the profound correlations between spinal motor neurons of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and parkinsonism-related proteins.

  12. Motor neuron disease. SMN2 splicing modifiers improve motor function and longevity in mice with spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Naryshkin, Nikolai A; Weetall, Marla; Dakka, Amal; Narasimhan, Jana; Zhao, Xin; Feng, Zhihua; Ling, Karen K Y; Karp, Gary M; Qi, Hongyan; Woll, Matthew G; Chen, Guangming; Zhang, Nanjing; Gabbeta, Vijayalakshmi; Vazirani, Priya; Bhattacharyya, Anuradha; Furia, Bansri; Risher, Nicole; Sheedy, Josephine; Kong, Ronald; Ma, Jiyuan; Turpoff, Anthony; Lee, Chang-Sun; Zhang, Xiaoyan; Moon, Young-Choon; Trifillis, Panayiota; Welch, Ellen M; Colacino, Joseph M; Babiak, John; Almstead, Neil G; Peltz, Stuart W; Eng, Loren A; Chen, Karen S; Mull, Jesse L; Lynes, Maureen S; Rubin, Lee L; Fontoura, Paulo; Santarelli, Luca; Haehnke, Daniel; McCarthy, Kathleen D; Schmucki, Roland; Ebeling, Martin; Sivaramakrishnan, Manaswini; Ko, Chien-Ping; Paushkin, Sergey V; Ratni, Hasane; Gerlach, Irene; Ghosh, Anirvan; Metzger, Friedrich

    2014-08-08

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic disease caused by mutation or deletion of the survival of motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. A paralogous gene in humans, SMN2, produces low, insufficient levels of functional SMN protein due to alternative splicing that truncates the transcript. The decreased levels of SMN protein lead to progressive neuromuscular degeneration and high rates of mortality. Through chemical screening and optimization, we identified orally available small molecules that shift the balance of SMN2 splicing toward the production of full-length SMN2 messenger RNA with high selectivity. Administration of these compounds to Δ7 mice, a model of severe SMA, led to an increase in SMN protein levels, improvement of motor function, and protection of the neuromuscular circuit. These compounds also extended the life span of the mice. Selective SMN2 splicing modifiers may have therapeutic potential for patients with SMA. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  13. Postnatal development of a segmental switch enables corticospinal tract transmission to spinal forelimb motor circuits.

    PubMed

    Chakrabarty, Samit; Martin, John H

    2010-02-10

    Development of skilled movements and the corticospinal tract (CST) begin prenatally and continue postnatally. Because the CST is required for skilled movements in maturity, it is accepted that motor skills cannot occur until the CST develops a mature organization. We recently showed that the CST plays an essential role in postnatal development of interneurons comprising the spinal circuits it engages. We proposed that CST signals are more effectively transmitted to ventral motor circuits after interneuron maturation, thereby enabling expression of CST motor functions, suggesting development of a segmental switch promoting transmission. We tested this by recording CST-evoked focal synaptic potentials, extracellularly, in the cervical enlargement of cats before and after interneuron maturation [postnatal week 5 (PW5) to PW7]. We compared monosynaptic CST amplitude input to segmental circuits with oligosynaptic ventral horn responses, as a measure of CST-evoked segmental response transmission from input to output. The M1 primary motor cortex was unilaterally inactivated between PW5 and PW7 to determine activity dependence. CST interneuron contacts were identified using confocal microscopy. CST terminals contact diverse interneuron classes. CST stimulation strongly activated ventral motor circuits at the ages when both interneurons and CST spinal terminations have developed a mature phenotype, supporting development of segmental transmission of CST signals. CST activity blockade impeded development of effective segmental transmission by the inactivated CST and created a novel path for transmission from the ipsilateral, unaffected, CST. Our findings show that development of segmental CST signal transmission regulates nascent CST motor control functions and provide insight into systems-level mechanisms for protracted motor skill development.

  14. Spinal muscular atrophy: a motor neuron disorder or a multi-organ disease?

    PubMed

    Shababi, Monir; Lorson, Christian L; Rudnik-Schöneborn, Sabine S

    2014-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder that is the leading genetic cause of infantile death. SMA is characterized by loss of motor neurons in the ventral horn of the spinal cord, leading to weakness and muscle atrophy. SMA occurs as a result of homozygous deletion or mutations in Survival Motor Neuron-1 (SMN1). Loss of SMN1 leads to a dramatic reduction in SMN protein, which is essential for motor neuron survival. SMA disease severity ranges from extremely severe to a relatively mild adult onset form of proximal muscle atrophy. Severe SMA patients typically die mostly within months or a few years as a consequence of respiratory insufficiency and bulbar paralysis. SMA is widely known as a motor neuron disease; however, there are numerous clinical reports indicating the involvement of additional peripheral organs contributing to the complete picture of the disease in severe cases. In this review, we have compiled clinical and experimental reports that demonstrate the association between the loss of SMN and peripheral organ deficiency and malfunction. Whether defective peripheral organs are a consequence of neuronal damage/muscle atrophy or a direct result of SMN loss will be discussed. © 2013 Anatomical Society.

  15. Reorganization and preservation of motor control of the brain in spinal cord injury: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Kokotilo, Kristen J; Eng, Janice J; Curt, Armin

    2009-11-01

    Reorganization of brain function in people with CNS damage has been identified as one of the fundamental mechanisms involved in the recovery of sensorimotor function. Spinal cord injury (SCI) brain mapping studies during motor tasks aim for assessing the reorganization and preservation of brain networks involved in motor control. Revealing the activation of cortical and subcortical brain areas in people with SCI can indicate principal patterns of brain reorganization when the neurotrauma is distal to the brain. This review assessed brain activation after SCI in terms of intensity, volume, and somatotopic localization, as well as preservation of activation during attempted and/or imagined movements. Twenty-five studies meeting the inclusion criteria could be identified in Medline (1980 to January 2008). Relevant characteristics of studies (level of lesion, time after injury, motor task) and mapping techniques varied widely. Changes in brain activation were found in both cortical and subcortical areas of individuals with SCI. In addition, several studies described a shift in the region of brain activation. These patterns appeared to be dynamic and influenced by the level, completeness, and time after injury, as well as extent of clinical recovery. In addition, several aspects of reorganization of brain function following SCI resembled those reported in stroke. This review demonstrates that brain networks involved in different demands of motor control remain responsive even in chronic paralysis. These findings imply that therapeutic strategies aimed at restoring spinal cord function, even in people with chronic SCI, can build on preserved competent brain control.

  16. Spinal muscular atrophy: a motor neuron disorder or a multi-organ disease?

    PubMed Central

    Shababi, Monir; Lorson, Christian L; Rudnik-Schöneborn, Sabine S

    2014-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder that is the leading genetic cause of infantile death. SMA is characterized by loss of motor neurons in the ventral horn of the spinal cord, leading to weakness and muscle atrophy. SMA occurs as a result of homozygous deletion or mutations in Survival Motor Neuron-1 (SMN1). Loss of SMN1 leads to a dramatic reduction in SMN protein, which is essential for motor neuron survival. SMA disease severity ranges from extremely severe to a relatively mild adult onset form of proximal muscle atrophy. Severe SMA patients typically die mostly within months or a few years as a consequence of respiratory insufficiency and bulbar paralysis. SMA is widely known as a motor neuron disease; however, there are numerous clinical reports indicating the involvement of additional peripheral organs contributing to the complete picture of the disease in severe cases. In this review, we have compiled clinical and experimental reports that demonstrate the association between the loss of SMN and peripheral organ deficiency and malfunction. Whether defective peripheral organs are a consequence of neuronal damage/muscle atrophy or a direct result of SMN loss will be discussed. PMID:23876144

  17. Prolonged Minocycline Treatment Impairs Motor Neuronal Survival and Glial Function in Organotypic Rat Spinal Cord Cultures

    PubMed Central

    Pinkernelle, Josephine; Fansa, Hisham; Ebmeyer, Uwe; Keilhoff, Gerburg

    2013-01-01

    Background Minocycline, a second-generation tetracycline antibiotic, exhibits anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in various experimental models of neurological diseases, such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal cord injury. However, conflicting results have prompted a debate regarding the beneficial effects of minocycline. Methods In this study, we analyzed minocycline treatment in organotypic spinal cord cultures of neonatal rats as a model of motor neuron survival and regeneration after injury. Minocycline was administered in 2 different concentrations (10 and 100 µM) at various time points in culture and fixed after 1 week. Results Prolonged minocycline administration decreased the survival of motor neurons in the organotypic cultures. This effect was strongly enhanced with higher concentrations of minocycline. High concentrations of minocycline reduced the number of DAPI-positive cell nuclei in organotypic cultures and simultaneously inhibited microglial activation. Astrocytes, which covered the surface of the control organotypic cultures, revealed a peripheral distribution after early minocycline treatment. Thus, we further analyzed the effects of 100 µM minocycline on the viability and migration ability of dispersed primary glial cell cultures. We found that minocycline reduced cell viability, delayed wound closure in a scratch migration assay and increased connexin 43 protein levels in these cultures. Conclusions The administration of high doses of minocycline was deleterious for motor neuron survival. In addition, it inhibited microglial activation and impaired glial viability and migration. These data suggest that especially high doses of minocycline might have undesired affects in treatment of spinal cord injury. Further experiments are required to determine the conditions for the safe clinical administration of minocycline in spinal cord injured patients. PMID:23967343

  18. Imaging Flow Cytometry Analysis to Identify Differences of Survival Motor Neuron Protein Expression in Patients With Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Arakawa, Reiko; Arakawa, Masayuki; Kaneko, Kaori; Otsuki, Noriko; Aoki, Ryoko; Saito, Kayoko

    2016-08-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by the deficient expression of survival motor neuron protein in motor neurons. A major goal of disease-modifying therapy is to increase survival motor neuron expression. Changes in survival motor neuron protein expression can be monitored via peripheral blood cells in patients; therefore we tested the sensitivity and utility of imaging flow cytometry for this purpose. After the immortalization of peripheral blood lymphocytes from a human healthy control subject and two patients with spinal muscular atrophy type 1 with two and three copies of SMN2 gene, respectively, we used imaging flow cytometry analysis to identify significant differences in survival motor neuron expression. A bright detail intensity analysis was used to investigate differences in the cellular localization of survival motor neuron protein. Survival motor neuron expression was significantly decreased in cells derived from patients with spinal muscular atrophy relative to those derived from a healthy control subject. Moreover, survival motor neuron expression correlated with the clinical severity of spinal muscular atrophy according to SMN2 copy number. The cellular accumulation of survival motor neuron protein was also significantly decreased in cells derived from patients with spinal muscular atrophy relative to those derived from a healthy control subject. The benefits of imaging flow cytometry for peripheral blood analysis include its capacities for analyzing heterogeneous cell populations; visualizing cell morphology; and evaluating the accumulation, localization, and expression of a target protein. Imaging flow cytometry analysis should be implemented in future studies to optimize its application as a tool for spinal muscular atrophy clinical trials. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Motor levels in high cervical spinal cord injuries: Implications for the International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury.

    PubMed

    Franz, Steffen; Kirshblum, Steven C; Weidner, Norbert; Rupp, Rüdiger; Schuld, Christian

    2016-09-01

    To verify the hypothesis that motor levels (ML) inferred from sensory levels in the upper cervical segments C2-C4 according to the current version of the International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI) are counterintuitive in cases where the most rostral myotomes C5 and C6 are graded as intact. Prospective cohort study of ISNCSCI instructional course participants completing a post-test after the workshop to determine the MLs in two variants of a complete, high cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) case scenario. Both variants were based on the same ISNCSCI sensory and MLs of C2. In the first variant myotomes C5 and C6 were bilaterally graded as intact, while in variant 2 only active movements against gravity were possible (grade 3). Eight ISNCSCI instructional courses conducted during the study period from November 2012 until March 2015 in the framework of the European Multicenter Study on Human Spinal Cord Injury (EMSCI- http//emsci.org ). Ninety-two clinicians from twenty-two SCI centers. Most of the attendees were physicians (58.7%) or physical therapists (33.7%) and had less than one year (44.6%) experience in SCI medicine. Not applicable. The classification performance described as percentage of correctly determined MLs by the clinicians. Variant 2 (89.13%) was significantly (P < 0.0001) better classified than variant 1 (65.76%). In variant 1 with intact myotomes at C5 and C6, C6 was incorrectly classified as the ML by the clinicians in 33.15% of all cases, whereas in variant 2 with non-intact C5 / C6 myotomes, C6 was rarely chosen (2.17%). Sensory level deferred MLs in the high cervical region of C2-C4 are counterintuitive whenever the most rostral cervical myotomes are intact. An adjustment of the ML definition in ISNCSCI may be needed.

  20. Selective responses to tonic descending commands by temporal summation in a spinal motor pool

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wei-Chun; McLean, David L.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Motor responses of varying intensities rely on descending commands to heterogeneous pools of motoneurons. In vertebrates, numerous sources of descending excitatory input provide systematically more drive to progressively less excitable spinal motoneurons. While this presumably facilitates simultaneous activation of motor pools, it is unclear how selective patterns of recruitment could emerge from inputs weighted this way. Here, using in vivo electrophysiological and imaging approaches in larval zebrafish, we find that, despite weighted excitation, more excitable motoneurons are preferentially activated by a midbrain reticulospinal nucleus, by virtue of longer membrane time constants that facilitate temporal summation of tonic drive. We confirm the utility of this phenomenon by assessing the activity of the midbrain and motoneuron populations during a light-driven behavior. Our findings demonstrate that weighted descending commands can generate selective motor responses by exploiting systematic differences in the biophysical properties of target motoneurons and their relative sensitivity to tonic input. PMID:25066087

  1. Synergistic integration of Netrin and ephrin axon guidance signals by spinal motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Poliak, Sebastian; Morales, Daniel; Croteau, Louis-Philippe; Krawchuk, Dayana; Palmesino, Elena; Morton, Susan; Cloutier, Jean-François; Charron, Frederic; Dalva, Matthew B; Ackerman, Susan L; Kao, Tzu-Jen; Kania, Artur

    2015-12-03

    During neural circuit assembly, axonal growth cones are exposed to multiple guidance signals at trajectory choice points. While axonal responses to individual guidance cues have been extensively studied, less is known about responses to combination of signals and underlying molecular mechanisms. Here, we studied the convergence of signals directing trajectory selection of spinal motor axons entering the limb. We first demonstrate that Netrin-1 attracts and repels distinct motor axon populations, according to their expression of Netrin receptors. Quantitative in vitro assays demonstrate that motor axons synergistically integrate both attractive or repulsive Netrin-1 signals together with repulsive ephrin signals. Our investigations of the mechanism of ephrin-B2 and Netrin-1 integration demonstrate that the Netrin receptor Unc5c and the ephrin receptor EphB2 can form a complex in a ligand-dependent manner and that Netrin-ephrin synergistic growth cones responses involve the potentiation of Src family kinase signaling, a common effector of both pathways.

  2. Cervical spinal erythropoietin induces phrenic motor facilitation via ERK and Akt signaling

    PubMed Central

    Dale, Erica A.; Satriotomo, Irawan; Mitchell, Gordon S.

    2012-01-01

    Erythropoietin (EPO) is typically known for its role in erythropoiesis, but is also a potent neurotrophic/neuroprotective factor for spinal motor neurons. Another trophic factor regulated by Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), signals via ERK and Akt activation to elicit long-lasting phrenic motor facilitation (pMF). Since EPO also signals via ERK and Akt activation, we tested the hypothesis that EPO elicits similar pMF. Using retrograde labeling and immunohistochemical techniques, we demonstrate in adult, male, Sprague-Dawley rats that EPO and its receptor, EPO-R, are expressed in identified phrenic motor neurons. Intrathecal EPO at C4 elicits long-lasting pMF; integrated phrenic nerve burst amplitude increased >90 min post-injection (63±12% baseline 90 min post-injection; p<0.001). EPO increased phosphorylation (and presumed activation) of ERK (1.6 fold vs controls; p<0.05) in phrenic motor neurons; EPO also increased pAkt (1.6 fold vs controls; p<0.05). EPO-induced pMF was abolished by the MEK/ERK inhibitor U0126 and the PI3 kinase/Akt inhibitor LY294002, demonstrating that ERK MAP kinases and Akt are both required for EPO-induced pMF. Pre-treatment with U0126 and LY294002 decreased both pERK and pAkt in phrenic motor neurons (p<0.05), indicating a complex interaction between these kinases. We conclude that EPO elicits spinal plasticity in respiratory motor control. Since EPO expression is hypoxia-sensitive, it may play a role in respiratory plasticity in conditions of prolonged or recurrent low oxygen. PMID:22539857

  3. Improved motor performance in chronic spinal cord injury following upper-limb robotic training

    PubMed Central

    Cortes, Mar; Elder, Jessica; Rykman, Avrielle; Murray, Lynda; Avedissian, Manuel; Stampas, Argyrios; Thickbroom, Gary W.; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Krebs, Hermano Igo; Valls-Sole, Josep; Edwards, Dylan J.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND Recovering upper-limb motor function has important implications for improving independence of patients with tetraplegia after traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). OBJECTIVE To evaluate the feasibility, safety and effectiveness of robotic-assisted training of upper limb in a chronic SCI population. METHODS A total of 10 chronic tetraplegic SCI patients (C4 to C6 level of injury, American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale, A to D) participated in a 6-week wrist-robot training protocol (1 hour/day 3 times/week). The following outcome measures were recorded at baseline and after the robotic training: a) motor performance, assessed by robot-measured kinematics, b) corticospinal excitability measured by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and c) changes in clinical scales: motor strength (Upper extremity motor score), pain level (Visual Analog Scale) and spasticity (Modified Ashworth scale). RESULTS No adverse effects were observed during or after the robotic training. Statistically significant improvements were found in motor performance kinematics: aim (pre 1.17 ± 0.11 radians, post 1.03 ± 0.08 radians, p = 0.03) and smoothness of movement (pre 0.26 ± 0.03, post 0.31 ± 0.02, p = 0.03). These changes were not accompanied by changes in upper-extremity muscle strength or corticospinal excitability. No changes in pain or spasticity were found. CONCLUSIONS Robotic-assisted training of the upper limb over six weeks is a feasible and safe intervention that can enhance movement kinematics without negatively affecting pain or spasticity in chronic SCI. In addition, robot-assisted devices are an excellent tool to quantify motor performance (kinematics) and can be used to sensitively measure changes after a given rehabilitative intervention. PMID:23949034

  4. Improved motor performance in chronic spinal cord injury following upper-limb robotic training.

    PubMed

    Cortes, Mar; Elder, Jessica; Rykman, Avrielle; Murray, Lynda; Avedissian, Manuel; Stampas, Argyrios; Thickbroom, Gary W; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Krebs, Hermano Igo; Valls-Sole, Josep; Edwards, Dylan J

    2013-01-01

    Recovering upper-limb motor function has important implications for improving independence of patients with tetraplegia after traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). To evaluate the feasibility, safety and effectiveness of robotic-assisted training of upper limb in a chronic SCI population. A total of 10 chronic tetraplegic SCI patients (C4 to C6 level of injury, American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale, A to D) participated in a 6-week wrist-robot training protocol (1 hour/day 3 times/week). The following outcome measures were recorded at baseline and after the robotic training: a) motor performance, assessed by robot-measured kinematics, b) corticospinal excitability measured by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and c) changes in clinical scales: motor strength (Upper extremity motor score), pain level (Visual Analog Scale) and spasticity (Modified Ashworth scale). No adverse effects were observed during or after the robotic training. Statistically significant improvements were found in motor performance kinematics: aim (pre 1.17 ± 0.11 raduans, post 1.03 ± 0.08 raduans, p = 0.03) and smoothness of movement (pre 0.26 ± 0.03, post 0.31 ± 0.02, p = 0.03). These changes were not accompanied by changes in upper-extremity muscle strength or corticospinal excitability. No changes in pain or spasticity were found. Robotic-assisted training of the upper limb over six weeks is a feasible and safe intervention that can enhance movement kinematics without negatively affecting pain or spasticity in chronic SCI. In addition, robot-assisted devices are an excellent tool to quantify motor performance (kinematics) and can be used to sensitively measure changes after a given rehabilitative intervention.

  5. Protective effect of rosemary on acrylamide motor neurotoxicity in spinal cord of rat offspring: postnatal follow-up study

    PubMed Central

    Al-Gholam, Marwa A.; El-Mehi, Abeer E.; El-Barbary, Abd El-Moneum; Fokar, Ahmed Zo El

    2016-01-01

    The direct interactive effects of rosemary and acrylamide on the development of motor neurons in the spinal cord remains unknown. Our goal is to confirm the protective effects of rosemary against motor neuronal degeneration induced by acrylamide in the developing postnatal rat spinal cord using a postnatal rat model. We assigned the offspring of treated female rats into control, rosemary; acrylamide group; and recovery groups. This work depended on clinical, histopathological, morphometrically, immunohistochemical and genetic methods. In the acrylamide group, we observed oxidation, motor neuron degeneration, apoptosis, myelin degeneration, neurofilament reduction, reactive gliosis. Whoever, concomitant rosemary intake and withdrawal of acrylamide modulate these effects. These findings proof that dietary rosemary can directly protect motor neuron against acrylamide toxicity in the mammalian developing spinal cord. PMID:27051566

  6. Protective effect of rosemary on acrylamide motor neurotoxicity in spinal cord of rat offspring: postnatal follow-up study.

    PubMed

    Al-Gholam, Marwa A; Nooh, Hanaa Zakaria; El-Mehi, Abeer E; El-Barbary, Abd El-Moneum; Fokar, Ahmed Zo El

    2016-03-01

    The direct interactive effects of rosemary and acrylamide on the development of motor neurons in the spinal cord remains unknown. Our goal is to confirm the protective effects of rosemary against motor neuronal degeneration induced by acrylamide in the developing postnatal rat spinal cord using a postnatal rat model. We assigned the offspring of treated female rats into control, rosemary; acrylamide group; and recovery groups. This work depended on clinical, histopathological, morphometrically, immunohistochemical and genetic methods. In the acrylamide group, we observed oxidation, motor neuron degeneration, apoptosis, myelin degeneration, neurofilament reduction, reactive gliosis. Whoever, concomitant rosemary intake and withdrawal of acrylamide modulate these effects. These findings proof that dietary rosemary can directly protect motor neuron against acrylamide toxicity in the mammalian developing spinal cord.

  7. Is spinal muscular atrophy a disease of the motor neurons only: pathogenesis and therapeutic implications?

    PubMed

    Simone, Chiara; Ramirez, Agnese; Bucchia, Monica; Rinchetti, Paola; Rideout, Hardy; Papadimitriou, Dimitra; Re, Diane B; Corti, Stefania

    2016-03-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic neurological disease that causes infant mortality; no effective therapies are currently available. SMA is due to homozygous mutations and/or deletions in the survival motor neuron 1 gene and subsequent reduction of the SMN protein, leading to the death of motor neurons. However, there is increasing evidence that in addition to motor neurons, other cell types are contributing to SMA pathology. In this review, we will discuss the involvement of non-motor neuronal cells, located both inside and outside the central nervous system, in disease onset and progression. Even if SMN restoration in motor neurons is needed, it has been shown that optimal phenotypic amelioration in animal models of SMA requires a more widespread SMN correction. It has been demonstrated that non-motor neuronal cells are also involved in disease pathogenesis and could have important therapeutic implications. For these reasons it will be crucial to take this evidence into account for the clinical translation of the novel therapeutic approaches.

  8. Is Spinal Muscular Atrophy a disease of the motor neurons only: pathogenesis and therapeutic implications?

    PubMed Central

    Simone, Chiara; Ramirez, Agnese; Bucchia, Monica; Rinchetti, Paola; Rideout, Hardy; Papadimitriou, Dimitra; Re, Diane B.; Corti, Stefania

    2016-01-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a genetic neurological disease that causes infant mortality; no effective therapies are currently available. SMA is due to homozygous mutations and/or deletions in the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene and subsequent reduction of the SMN protein, leading to the death of motor neurons. However, there is increasing evidence that in addition to motor neurons, other cell types are contributing to SMA pathology. In this review, we will discuss the involvement of non-motor neuronal cells, located both inside and outside the central nervous system, in disease onset and progression. These contribution of non-motor neuronal cells to disease pathogenesis has important therapeutic implications: in fact, even if SMN restoration in motor neurons is needed, it has been shown that optimal phenotypic amelioration in animal models of SMA requires a more widespread SMN correction. It will be crucial to take this evidence into account before clinical translation of the novel therapeutic approaches that are currently under development. PMID:26681261

  9. Information to cerebellum on spinal motor networks mediated by the dorsal spinocerebellar tract

    PubMed Central

    Stecina, Katinka; Fedirchuk, Brent; Hultborn, Hans

    2013-01-01

    The main objective of this review is to re-examine the type of information transmitted by the dorsal and ventral spinocerebellar tracts (DSCT and VSCT respectively) during rhythmic motor actions such as locomotion. Based on experiments in the 1960s and 1970s, the DSCT was viewed as a relay of peripheral sensory input to the cerebellum in general, and during rhythmic movements such as locomotion and scratch. In contrast, the VSCT was seen as conveying a copy of the output of spinal neuronal circuitry, including those circuits generating rhythmic motor activity (the spinal central pattern generator, CPG). Emerging anatomical and electrophysiological information on the putative subpopulations of DSCT and VSCT neurons suggest differentiated functions for some of the subpopulations. Multiple lines of evidence support the notion that sensory input is not the only source driving DSCT neurons and, overall, there is a greater similarity between DSCT and VSCT activity than previously acknowledged. Indeed the majority of DSCT cells can be driven by spinal CPGs for locomotion and scratch without phasic sensory input. It thus seems natural to propose the possibility that CPG input to some of these neurons may contribute to distinguishing sensory inputs that are a consequence of the active locomotion from those resulting from perturbations in the external world. PMID:23613538

  10. Spinal and supraspinal functions of noradrenaline in the frog embryo: consequences for motor behaviour.

    PubMed

    McLean, David L; Sillar, Keith T

    2003-09-01

    The monoamine noradrenaline (NA) can initiate and/or modulate locomotion in a variety of vertebrates. Here we report that exogenous NA application can facilitate two completely different fictive behaviours in embryos of the common frog Rana temporaria, depending on whether spinal networks are connected to supraspinal centres. When the nervous system is intact, NA elicits a non-rhythmic coiling motor response, reminiscent of a spontaneous behaviour appropriate to drive hatching movements, but has only minor effects on evoked swimming activity. After the spinal cord has been severed from the brain, spontaneous coiling is no longer observed, nor can NA elicit it, but the amine can 'release' swimming rhythm generation in response to electrical skin stimulation. The rhythm is similar, but relatively inflexible when compared to fictive swimming recorded from intact animals. Our pharmacological tests indicate that alpha 1-adrenoreceptors are involved in the permissive role of NA during spinalised rhythmic swimming and that the fictive coiling response to NA in intact animals involves descending inputs and the activation of beta 1-adrenoreceptors. Furthermore, the subtle effects of NA on evoked swimming in intact animals were mimicked by either alpha 1- or alpha 2-adrenoreceptor activation, reversibly decreasing motor burst durations and increasing their frequency. We discuss our results with reference to the known synergistic actions of NA with another aminergic neuromodulator, serotonin, and raise the possibility that these amines may actively regulate the release of one another during locomotion, in addition to their respective post-synaptic targets in the spinal cord.

  11. ALS disrupts spinal motor neuron maturation and aging pathways within gene co-expression networks.

    PubMed

    Ho, Ritchie; Sances, Samuel; Gowing, Genevieve; Amoroso, Mackenzie Weygandt; O'Rourke, Jacqueline G; Sahabian, Anais; Wichterle, Hynek; Baloh, Robert H; Sareen, Dhruv; Svendsen, Clive N

    2016-09-01

    Modeling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) aims to reenact embryogenesis, maturation and aging of spinal motor neurons (spMNs) in vitro. As the maturity of spMNs grown in vitro compared to spMNs in vivo remains largely unaddressed, it is unclear to what extent this in vitro system captures critical aspects of spMN development and molecular signatures associated with ALS. Here, we compared transcriptomes among iPSC-derived spMNs, fetal spinal tissues and adult spinal tissues. This approach produced a maturation scale revealing that iPSC-derived spMNs were more similar to fetal spinal tissue than to adult spMNs. Additionally, we resolved gene networks and pathways associated with spMN maturation and aging. These networks enriched for pathogenic familial ALS genetic variants and were disrupted in sporadic ALS spMNs. Altogether, our findings suggest that developing strategies to further mature and age iPSC-derived spMNs will provide more effective iPSC models of ALS pathology.

  12. Angiogenic microspheres promote neural regeneration and motor function recovery after spinal cord injury in rats

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Shukui; Yao, Shenglian; Wen, Yujun; Wang, Ying; Wang, Hao; Xu, Qunyuan

    2016-01-01

    This study examined sustained co-delivery of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), angiopoietin-1 and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) encapsulated in angiogenic microspheres. These spheres were delivered to sites of spinal cord contusion injury in rats, and their ability to induce vessel formation, neural regeneration and improve hindlimb motor function was assessed. At 2–8 weeks after spinal cord injury, ELISA-determined levels of VEGF, angiopoietin-1, and bFGF were significantly higher in spinal cord tissues in rats that received angiogenic microspheres than in those that received empty microspheres. Sites of injury in animals that received angiogenic microspheres also contained greater numbers of isolectin B4-binding vessels and cells positive for nestin or β III-tubulin (P < 0.01), significantly more NF-positive and serotonergic fibers, and more MBP-positive mature oligodendrocytes. Animals receiving angiogenic microspheres also suffered significantly less loss of white matter volume. At 10 weeks after injury, open field tests showed that animals that received angiogenic microspheres scored significantly higher on the Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan scale than control animals (P < 0.01). Our results suggest that biodegradable, biocompatible PLGA microspheres can release angiogenic factors in a sustained fashion into sites of spinal cord injury and markedly stimulate angiogenesis and neurogenesis, accelerating recovery of neurologic function. PMID:27641997

  13. Crosstalk between p38, Hsp25 and Akt in spinal motor neurons after sciatic nerve injury

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murashov, A. K.; Ul Haq, I.; Hill, C.; Park, E.; Smith, M.; Wang, X.; Wang, X.; Goldberg, D. J.; Wolgemuth, D. J.

    2001-01-01

    The p38 stress-activated protein kinase pathway is involved in regulation of phosphorylation of Hsp25, which in turn regulates actin filament dynamic in non-neuronal cells. We report that p38, Hsp25 and Akt signaling pathways were specifically activated in spinal motor neurons after sciatic nerve axotomy. The activation of the p38 kinase was required for induction of Hsp25 expression. Furthermore, Hsp25 formed a complex with Akt, a member of PI-3 kinase pathway that prevents neuronal cell death. Together, our observations implicate Hsp25 as a central player in a complex system of signaling that may both promote regeneration of nerve fibers and prevent neuronal cell death in the injured spinal cord.

  14. Crosstalk between p38, Hsp25 and Akt in spinal motor neurons after sciatic nerve injury

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murashov, A. K.; Ul Haq, I.; Hill, C.; Park, E.; Smith, M.; Wang, X.; Wang, X.; Goldberg, D. J.; Wolgemuth, D. J.

    2001-01-01

    The p38 stress-activated protein kinase pathway is involved in regulation of phosphorylation of Hsp25, which in turn regulates actin filament dynamic in non-neuronal cells. We report that p38, Hsp25 and Akt signaling pathways were specifically activated in spinal motor neurons after sciatic nerve axotomy. The activation of the p38 kinase was required for induction of Hsp25 expression. Furthermore, Hsp25 formed a complex with Akt, a member of PI-3 kinase pathway that prevents neuronal cell death. Together, our observations implicate Hsp25 as a central player in a complex system of signaling that may both promote regeneration of nerve fibers and prevent neuronal cell death in the injured spinal cord.

  15. Identification of a spinal circuit for light touch and fine motor control

    PubMed Central

    Bourane, Steeve; Grossmann, Katja S.; Britz, Olivier; Dalet, Antoine; Del Barrio, Marta Garcia; Stam, Floor J.; Garcia-Campmany, Lidia; Koch, Stephanie; Goulding, Martyn

    2015-01-01

    Sensory circuits in the dorsal spinal cord integrate and transmit multiple cutaneous sensory modalities including the sense of light touch. Here we identify a population of excitatory interneurons (INs) in the dorsal horn that are important for transmitting innocuous light touch sensation. These neurons express the ROR alpha (RORα) nuclear orphan receptor and are selectively innervated by cutaneous low threshold mechanoreceptors (LTMs). Targeted removal of RORα INs in the dorsal spinal cord leads a marked reduction in behavioral responsiveness to light touch without affecting responses to noxious and itch stimuli. RORα IN-deficient mice also display a selective deficit in corrective foot movements. This phenotype, together with our demonstration that the RORα INs are innervated by corticospinal and vestibulospinal projection neurons, argues that the RORα INs direct corrective reflex movements by integrating touch information with descending motor commands from the cortex and cerebellum. PMID:25635458

  16. Requirement for Dicer in Maintenance of Monosynaptic Sensory-Motor Circuits in the Spinal Cord.

    PubMed

    Imai, Fumiyasu; Chen, Xiaoting; Weirauch, Matthew T; Yoshida, Yutaka

    2016-11-22

    In contrast to our knowledge of mechanisms governing circuit formation, our understanding of how neural circuits are maintained is limited. Here, we show that Dicer, an RNaseIII protein required for processing microRNAs (miRNAs), is essential for maintenance of the spinal monosynaptic stretch reflex circuit in which group Ia proprioceptive sensory neurons form direct connections with motor neurons. In postnatal mice lacking Dicer in proprioceptor sensory neurons, there are no obvious defects in specificity or formation of monosynaptic sensory-motor connections. However, these circuits degrade through synapse loss and retraction of proprioceptive axonal projections from the ventral spinal cord. Peripheral terminals are also impaired without retracting from muscle targets. Interestingly, despite these central and peripheral axonal defects, proprioceptive neurons survive in the absence of Dicer-processed miRNAs. These findings reveal that Dicer, through its production of mature miRNAs, plays a key role in the maintenance of monosynaptic sensory-motor circuits. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Electrophysiological evaluation of sensory and motor pathways after incomplete unilateral spinal cord contusion.

    PubMed

    Bazley, Faith A; Hu, Charles; Maybhate, Anil; Pourmorteza, Amir; Pashai, Nikta; Thakor, Nitish V; Kerr, Candace L; All, Angelo H

    2012-04-01

    Unilateral contusions represent an increasingly popular model for studying the pathways and recovery mechanisms of spinal cord injury (SCI). Current studies rely heavily on motor behavior scoring and histological evidence to make assessments. Electrophysiology represents one way to reliably quantify the functionality of motor pathways. The authors sought to quantify the functional integrity of the bilateral motor and sensory pathways following unilateral SCI by using measurements of motor and somatosensory evoked potentials (MEPs and SSEPs, respectively). Eighteen rats were randomly divided into 3 groups receiving a mild unilateral contusion, a mild midline contusion, or a laminectomy only (control). Contusions were induced at T-8 using a MASCIS impactor. Electrophysiological analysis, motor behavior scoring, and histological quantifications were then performed to identify relationships among pathway conductivity, motor function, and tissue preservation. Hindlimb MEPs ipsilateral to the injury showed recovery by Day 28 after injury and corresponded to approximately 61% of spared corticospinal tract (CST) tissue. In contrast, MEPs of the midline-injured group did not recover, and correspondingly > 90% of the CST tissue was damaged. Somatosensory evoked potentials showed only a moderate reduction in amplitude, with no difference in latency for the pathways ipsilateral to injury. Furthermore, these SSEPs were significantly better than those of the midline-injured rats for the same amount of white matter damage. Motor evoked potential recovery corresponded to the amount of spared CST in unilateral and midline injuries, but motor behavior consistently recovered independent of MEPs. These data support the idea that spared contralateral pathways aid in reducing the functional deficits of injured ipsilateral pathways and further support the idea of CNS plasticity.

  18. BDNF effects on functional recovery across motor behaviors after cervical spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Hernandez-Torres, Vivian; Gransee, Heather M; Mantilla, Carlos B; Wang, Yao; Zhan, Wen-Zhi; Sieck, Gary C

    2017-02-01

    Unilateral C2 cervical spinal cord hemisection (SH) disrupts descending excitatory drive to phrenic motor neurons, thereby paralyzing the ipsilateral diaphragm muscle (DIAm) during ventilatory behaviors. Recovery of rhythmic DIAm activity ipsilateral to injury occurs over time, consistent with neuroplasticity and strengthening of spared synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons. Localized intrathecal delivery of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to phrenic motor neurons after SH enhances recovery of eupneic DIAm activity. However, the impact of SH and BDNF treatment on the full range of DIAm motor behaviors has not been fully characterized. We hypothesized that all DIAm motor behaviors are affected by SH and that intrathecal BDNF enhances the recovery of both ventilatory and higher force, nonventilatory motor behaviors. An intrathecal catheter was placed in adult, male Sprague-Dawley rats at C4 to chronically infuse artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF) or BDNF. DIAm electromyography (EMG) electrodes were implanted bilaterally to record activity across motor behaviors, i.e., eupnea, hypoxia-hypercapnia (10% O2 and 5% CO2), sighs, airway occlusion, and sneezing. After SH, ipsilateral DIAm EMG activity was evident in only 43% of aCSF-treated rats during eupnea, and activity was restored in all rats after BDNF treatment. The amplitude of DIAm EMG (root mean square, RMS) was reduced following SH during eupnea and hypoxia-hypercapnia in aCSF-treated rats, and BDNF treatment promoted recovery in both conditions. The amplitude of DIAm RMS EMG during sighs, airway occlusion, and sneezing was not affected by SH or BDNF treatment. We conclude that the effects of SH and BDNF treatment on DIAm activity depend on motor behavior.

  19. Reorganization and Preservation of Motor Control of the Brain in Spinal Cord Injury: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Kokotilo, Kristen J; Eng, Janice J; Curt, Armin

    2011-01-01

    Reorganization of brain function in people with CNS damage has been identified as one of the fundamental mechanisms involved in the recovery of sensori-motor function. Spinal cord injury (SCI) brain mapping studies during motor tasks aim for assessing the reorganization and preservation of brain networks involved in motor control. Revealing the activation of cortical and sub-cortical brain areas in people with SCI can indicate principal patterns of brain reorganization when the neurotrauma is distal to the brain. This review assessed brain activation after SCI in terms of intensity, volume, and somatotopic localization, as well as preservation of activation during attempted and/or imagined movements. Twenty-five studies meeting the inclusion criteria could be identified in MEDLINE (1980 to January 2008). Relevant characteristics of studies (level of lesion, time after injury, motor task) and mapping techniques varied widely. Changes in brain activation were found in both cortical and subcortical areas of individuals with SCI. In addition, several studies described a shift in the region of brain activation. These patterns appeared to be dynamic and influenced by the level, completeness and time after injury, as well as extent of clinical recovery. In addition, several aspects of reorganization of brain function following SCI resembled those reported in stroke. This review demonstrates that brain networks involved in different demands of motor control remain responsive even in chronic paralysis. These findings imply that therapeutic strategies aiming for restoring spinal cord function even in people with chronic SCI can build on a preserved competent brain control. PMID:19604097

  20. Loss of lower limb motor evoked potentials and spinal cord injury during the initial exposure in scoliosis surgery.

    PubMed

    Legatt, Alan D; Fried, Stephen J; Amaral, Terry D; Sarwahi, Vishal; Moguilevitch, Marina

    2014-04-01

    To report a case of motor evoked potential changes and spinal cord injury during the initial dissection in scoliosis surgery. Motor evoked potentials to transcranial electrical stimulation were recorded from multiple muscles. Somatosensory evoked potentials to limb nerve stimulation were recorded from the scalp. Clear motor evoked potentials were initially present in all monitored muscles. The patient was then pharmacologically paralyzed for the initial dissection. More than usual bleeding was encountered during that dissection, prompting transfusion. As the neuromuscular blockade subsided, motor evoked potentials persisted in the hand muscles but disappeared and remained absent in all monitored leg muscles. The spine had not been instrumented. A wake-up test demonstrated paraplegia; the surgery was aborted. There were no adverse somatosensory evoked potential changes. MRI showed an anterior spinal cord infarct. Copious soft tissue bleeding during the initial dissection might have lowered pressures in critical segmental arteries enough to cause spinal cord infarction through a steal phenomenon. The lack of somatosensory evoked potential changes reflected sparing of the dorsal columns. When neuromuscular blockade is used during the initial soft tissue dissection, motor evoked potentials should be assessed after this, but before spinal instrumentation, to determine whether there had been any spinal cord compromise during the initial dissection.

  1. A study of motoneuron groups and motor columns of the human spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    ROUTAL, R. V.; PAL, G. P.

    1999-01-01

    Eight normal human spinal cords were studied for motoneuron (Mn) groups and columns. Spinal segments (C1 to Coc.) were identified and embedded in paraffin wax. Serial cross sections were cut at 25 μm and stained by cresyl violet. Cross-sectional profiles of the spinal cord were traced for each segmental level and the outlines of the various Mn groups superimposed. These charts (maps) were used to examine intra and intersegmental changes in the relative positions of the columns. An attempt was made to provide topographical picture of Mn groups of individual segments. In the cervical region neuronal groups were more numerous but smaller and less distinct, while in the lumbosacral region they were fewer, larger and at many levels better circumscribed. The average number of Mn groups at any segmental level was 3–4 and never exceeded 5. C4, C5, C6, C7, L4, L5 and S1 contained numerous Mn groups. Maximum intrasegmental changes were noted at C3, C4, C7, T1, and S2, while at C5, C6, all thoracic, L1 L2 and L3, the pattern was constant throughout the segment. Eleven motor columns were traced in the human spinal cord. Column 1 belonged to the medial division and columns 2–11 to the lateral division of the ventral grey horn. Columns 1 and 2 were the most extensive as they were traceable from the lower medulla to S3 segment. Columns 3–8 were confined to cervical segments (including T1), while columns 9–11 were traced in lumbosacral segments. In general, motor columns followed a definite mode for their appearance and disappearance. Many of them showed rotation from a dorsal to a ventromedial direction. PMID:10529058

  2. Kinesthetic motor imagery and spinal excitability: the effect of contraction intensity and spatial localization.

    PubMed

    Cowley, Patrick M; Clark, Brian C; Ploutz-Snyder, Lori L

    2008-08-01

    Data on whether motor imagery (MI) modulates spinal excitability are equivocal. The purpose of this study was to determine if imagined muscle contractions of the left plantar flexor (PF) alter spinal excitability, and if so, to determine whether this alteration is intensity dependent and/or localized to the target muscles. Our research questions required two experiments. In experiment 1, 16 healthy volunteers performed imagined muscle contractions using a kinesthetic approach with their left PF at 25% and 100% of imagined effort (IE). The soleus H-reflex was evoked during three conditions, which were separated by about 15s: rest (preceding MI), during MI, and recovery (following the cessation of MI). In experiment 2, a subset of subjects from experiment 1 performed MI with their left PF at 100% of IE, while either the soleus or flexor carpi radialis (FCR) H-reflex was measured. In experiment 1, we observed a facilitation of soleus H-wave amplitude during MI compared to the rest and recovery conditions (p<0.05). Furthermore, the soleus H-wave amplitude was greater during 100% than 25% of IE (p<0.05). In experiment 2, soleus and FCR H-wave amplitude increased during imagined muscle contractions of the left PF (p<0.05). These changes were independent of voluntary muscle activity. These findings suggest MI can increase spinal excitability by the intensity of imagined effort, but this effect is not fully localized to the task specific muscle. These data provide evidence that MI can increase spinal excitability in healthy subjects, which suggests future studies are warranted to examine the clinical relevance of this effect. These studies are needed to help establish a therapeutic theory by which to advance motor function rehabilitation using MI.

  3. Admission ASIA motor score predicting the need for tracheostomy after cervical spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Menaker, Jay; Kufera, Joseph A; Glaser, Jeffrey; Stein, Deborah M; Scalea, Thomas M

    2013-10-01

    Respiratory compromise and the need for tracheostomy are common after cervical spinal cord injury (cSCI). The purpose of the study was to evaluate if admission American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) motor score is associated with the need for tracheostomy following cSCI. The trauma registry identified patients with isolated cSCI during a 3-year period. Patients with an Abbreviated Injury Scale score greater than 3 in other body regions were excluded. Medical records were reviewed for demographics, admission ASIA motor score, ASIA Impairment Scale (AIS), anatomic level of injury, need for a tracheostomy, and length of stay (LOS). Logistic regression models were constructed to examine the effect of admission ASIA motor scores on the outcome of tracheostomy. Cox proportional hazards models were fit to determine risk factors for time to tracheostomy. A total of 128 patients were identified. Seventy-four patients had a tracheostomy performed on mean (SD) hospital Day 9 (4). Median admission ASIA motor score was 22.0 (interquartile range [IQR], 8-54). Median anatomic level of injury was 5 (IQR, 4-6). Patients requiring tracheostomy had significantly lower median admission ASIA motor score (9 [IQR, 3-17] vs. 57 [IQR, 30-77], p < 0.001) and were more likely to be an AIS A. There was no difference in median anatomic level of injury (5 [IQR, 4-5.8] vs. 5 [IQR, 4-6], p = nonsignificant). ASIA motor scores less than 10 had an unadjusted odds ratio for requiring tracheostomy of 56 (95 confidence interval, 7-426). Following adjustment for independent risk factors, the odds ratio for ASIA motor score less than 10 remained statistically significant at 22 (confidence interval, 3-180). Among patients with incomplete cSCI, ASIA motor scores increased significantly from AIS B to AIS D, while Injury Severity Score (ISS), LOS and intensive care unit LOS declined significantly. Of those patients without a tracheostomy, 100% had an ASIA motor score greater than 10, 98% had an ASIA

  4. Transmission in Heteronymous Spinal Pathways Is Modified after Stroke and Related to Motor Incoordination

    PubMed Central

    Dyer, Joseph-Omer; Maupas, Eric; de Andrade Melo, Sibele; Bourbonnais, Daniel; Fleury, Jean; Forget, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Changes in reflex spinal pathways after stroke have been shown to affect motor activity in agonist and antagonist muscles acting at the same joint. However, only a few studies have evaluated the heteronymous reflex pathways modulating motoneuronal activity at different joints. This study investigates whether there are changes in the spinal facilitatory and inhibitory pathways linking knee to ankle extensors and if such changes may be related to motor deficits after stroke. The early facilitation and later inhibition of soleus H reflex evoked by the stimulation of femoral nerve at 2 times the motor threshold of the quadriceps were assessed in 15 healthy participants and on the paretic and the non-paretic sides of 15 stroke participants. The relationships between this reflex modulation and the levels of motor recovery, coordination and spasticity were then studied. Results show a significant (Mann-Whitney U; P<0.05) increase in both the peak amplitude (mean±SEM: 80±22% enhancement of the control H reflex) and duration (4.2±0.5 ms) of the facilitation on the paretic side of the stroke individuals compared to their non-paretic side (36±6% and 2.9±0.4 ms) and to the values of the control subjects (33±4% and 2.8±0.4 ms, respectively). Moreover, the later strong inhibition observed in all control subjects was decreased in the stroke subjects. Both the peak amplitude and the duration of the increased facilitation were inversely correlated (Spearman r = −0.65; P = 0.009 and r = −0.67; P = 0.007, respectively) with the level of coordination (LEMOCOT) of the paretic leg. Duration of this facilitation was also correlated (r = −0.58, P = 0.024) with the level of motor recovery (CMSA). These results confirm changes in transmission in heteronymous spinal pathways that are related to motor deficits after stroke. PMID:19122816

  5. Diagnostic value of cauda equina motor conduction time in lumbar spinal stenosis.

    PubMed

    Seçil, Yaprak; Ekinci, Ayşen Süzen; Bayram, Korhan Barış; Incesu, Tülay Kurt; Tokuçoğlu, Figen; Gürgör, Nevin; Özdemirkıran, Tolga; Başoğlu, Mustafa; Ertekin, Cumhur

    2012-09-01

    Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is a chronic degenerative disease with pain in the back, buttocks and legs aggrevated by walking and relieved after rest without associated vascular disease of lower extremities observed in patients between 50 and 60 years. Several studies, using different methods indicated an association between slowing or blocking of root-nerve conduction and LSS. None of the previous research had applied the more conceivable methods such as recording the cauda equina potentials from the lumbar level or stimulating the spinal roots within the canal using either leg nerves or muscles. In this study, electrical lumbar laminar stimulation was used to demonstrate prolongation of cauda equina motor conduction time in lumbar spinal stenosis. Twenty-one LSS patients and age matched 15 normal control subjects were included in the study. Lumbar laminar electrical stimulation from L1 and L5 vertebra levels were applied by needle electrodes. Compound muscle action potential (CMAP) from gastrocnemius muscles were recorded bilaterally. Latency difference of CMAPs obtained from L1 and L5 spine levels were accepted as the cauda equina motor conduction time (CEMCT). CEMCT was significantly longer in patient group when compared to normal controls. Mean latency difference was 3.59 ± 1.07 msec on the right side, 3.49 ± 1.07 msec on the left side in LSS group, it was 1.45 ± 0.65 msec on the right side, 1.35 ± 0.68 msec on the left side on normal control group (p<0.0001). The prolongation of CEMCT was statistically and individually significant in patient group. This may indicate that lower lumbosacral motor roots were locally and chronically compressed due to lumbar spinal stenosis. Lumbar spinal stenosis may have induced local demyelination at the cauda equina level. Since the prolongation of CEMCT was found only in patients with LSS, the method of laminar stimulation can be chosen for patients with uncertain diagnosis of LSS. Copyright © 2012 International

  6. Impaired lumbar movement perception in association with postural stability and motor- and somatosensory-evoked potentials in lumbar spinal stenosis.

    PubMed

    Leinonen, Ville; Määttä, Sara; Taimela, Simo; Herno, Arto; Kankaanpää, Markku; Partanen, Juhani; Kansanen, Martti; Hänninen, Osmo; Airaksinen, Olavi

    2002-05-01

    A descriptive study of the associations between different neurophysiologic findings in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis. To evaluate the ability to sense a change in lumbar position and the associations between lumbar movement perception, postural stability, and motor-evoked potentials and somatosensory-evoked potentials. Patients with low back pain have impaired postural control and impaired lumbar proprioception. Altered motor-evoked potentials and somatosensory-evoked potentials have been often observed in lumbar spinal stenosis. The study included 26 patients with clinically and radiologically diagnosed lumbar spinal stenosis. Their ability to sense lumbar rotation was assessed in a previously validated motorized trunk rotation unit in the seated position. The abilities to indicate the movement direction and the movement magnitude were used as indexes of the ability to sense the lumbar rotatory movement. The postural stability was measured with a vertical force platform. The motor-evoked potentials were elicited by transcranial and lumbar stimulation and recorded from anterior tibialis muscles. The somatosensory-evoked potentials were elicited by transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the tibial nerve at the ankle. Twenty patients (76.9%; P = 0.006) reported the wrong movement direction. Furthermore, the patients consistently localized the movement sensation in their shoulders instead of the lumbar region. The altered motor-evoked potentials and somatosensory-evoked potentials were observed in 11 and 16 patients, respectively. Abnormal motor-evoked potentials had inconsistent associations with impaired movement perception and postural stability and abnormal somatosensory-evoked potentials had no associations with other findings. Many patients with lumbar spinal stenosis have difficulties in sensing the lumbar rotational movement, which may indicate impaired proprioceptive abilities. Abnormal motor-evoked potentials and somatosensory-evoked potentials are

  7. Specific Retrograde Transduction of Spinal Motor Neurons Using Lentiviral Vectors Targeted to Presynaptic NMJ Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Eleftheriadou, I; Trabalza, A; Ellison, SM; Gharun, K; Mazarakis, ND

    2014-01-01

    To understand how receptors are involved in neuronal trafficking and to be able to utilize them for specific targeting via the peripheral route would be of great benefit. Here, we describe the generation of novel lentiviral vectors with tropism to motor neurons that were made by coexpressing onto the lentiviral surface a fusogenic glycoprotein (mutated sindbis G) and an antibody against a cell-surface receptor (Thy1.1, p75NTR, or coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor) on the presynaptic terminal of the neuromuscular junction. These vectors exhibit binding specificity and efficient transduction of receptor positive cell lines and primary motor neurons in vitro. Targeting of each of these receptors conferred to these vectors the capability of being transported retrogradely from the axonal tip, leading to transduction of motor neurons in vitro in compartmented microfluidic cultures. In vivo delivery of coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor-targeted vectors in leg muscles of mice resulted in predicted patterns of motor neuron labeling in lumbar spinal cord. This opens up the clinical potential of these vectors for minimally invasive administration of central nervous system-targeted therapeutics in motor neuron diseases. PMID:24670531

  8. A hybrid electrical/chemical circuit in the spinal cord generates a transient embryonic motor behavior.

    PubMed

    Knogler, Laura D; Ryan, Joel; Saint-Amant, Louis; Drapeau, Pierre

    2014-07-16

    Spontaneous network activity is a highly stereotyped early feature of developing circuits throughout the nervous system, including in the spinal cord. Spinal locomotor circuits produce a series of behaviors during development before locomotion that reflect the continual integration of spinal neurons into a functional network, but how the circuitry is reconfigured is not understood. The first behavior of the zebrafish embryo (spontaneous coiling) is mediated by an electrical circuit that subsequently generates mature locomotion (swimming) as chemical neurotransmission develops. We describe here a new spontaneous behavior, double coiling, that consists of two alternating contractions of the tail in rapid succession. Double coiling was glutamate-dependent and required descending hindbrain excitation, similar to but preceding swimming, making it a discrete intermediary developmental behavior. At the cellular level, motoneurons had a distinctive glutamate-dependent activity pattern that correlated with double coiling. Two glutamatergic interneurons, CoPAs and CiDs, had different activity profiles during this novel behavior. CoPA neurons failed to show changes in activity patterns during the period in which double coiling appears, whereas CiD neurons developed a glutamate-dependent activity pattern that correlated with double coiling and they innervated motoneurons at that time. Additionally, double coils were modified after pharmacological reduction of glycinergic neurotransmission such that embryos produced three or more rapidly alternating coils. We propose that double coiling behavior represents an important transition of the motor network from an electrically coupled spinal cord circuit that produces simple periodic coils to a spinal network driven by descending chemical neurotransmission, which generates more complex behaviors.

  9. Cell-type-specific miR-431 dysregulation in a motor neuron model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Wertz, Mary H; Winden, Kellen; Neveu, Pierre; Ng, Shi-Yan; Ercan, Ebru; Sahin, Mustafa

    2016-06-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal-recessive pediatric neurodegenerative disease characterized by selective loss of spinal motor neurons. It is caused by mutation in the survival of motor neuron 1, SMN1, gene and leads to loss of function of the full-length SMN protein. microRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNAs that are involved in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Prior studies have implicated miRNAs in the pathogenesis of motor neuron disease. We hypothesized that motor neuron-specific miRNA expression changes are involved in their selective vulnerability in SMA. Therefore, we sought to determine the effect of SMN loss on miRNAs and their target mRNAs in spinal motor neurons. We used microarray and RNAseq to profile both miRNA and mRNA expression in primary spinal motor neuron cultures after acute SMN knockdown. By integrating the miRNA:mRNA profiles, a number of dysregulated miRNAs were identified with enrichment in differentially expressed putative mRNA targets. miR-431 expression was highly increased, and a number of its putative mRNA targets were significantly downregulated in motor neurons after SMN loss. Further, we found that miR-431 regulates motor neuron neurite length by targeting several molecules previously identified to play a role in motor neuron axon outgrowth, including chondrolectin. Together, our findings indicate that cell-type-specific dysregulation of miR-431 plays a role in the SMA motor neuron phenotype. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Motor deficits and recovery in rats with unilateral spinal cord hemisection mimic the Brown-Sequard syndrome.

    PubMed

    Filli, Linard; Zörner, Björn; Weinmann, Oliver; Schwab, Martin E

    2011-08-01

    Cervical incomplete spinal cord injuries often lead to severe and persistent impairments of sensorimotor functions and are clinically the most frequent type of spinal cord injury. Understanding the motor impairments and the possible functional recovery of upper and lower extremities is of great importance. Animal models investigating motor dysfunction following cervical spinal cord injury are rare. We analysed the differential spontaneous recovery of fore- and hindlimb locomotion by detailed kinematic analysis in adult rats with unilateral C4/C5 hemisection, a lesion that leads to the Brown-Séquard syndrome in humans. The results showed disproportionately better performance of hindlimb compared with forelimb locomotion; hindlimb locomotion showed substantial recovery, whereas the ipsilesional forelimb remained in a very poor functional state. Such a differential motor recovery pattern is also known to occur in monkeys and in humans after similar spinal cord lesions. On the lesioned side, cortico-, rubro-, vestibulo- and reticulospinal tracts and the important modulatory serotonergic, dopaminergic and noradrenergic fibre systems were interrupted by the lesion. In an attempt to facilitate locomotion, different monoaminergic agonists were injected intrathecally. Injections of specific serotonergic and noradrenergic agonists in the chronic phase after the spinal cord lesion revealed remarkable, although mostly functionally negative, modulations of particular parameters of hindlimb locomotion. In contrast, forelimb locomotion was mostly unresponsive to these agonists. These results, therefore, show fundamental differences between fore- and hindlimb spinal motor circuitries and their functional dependence on remaining descending inputs and exogenous spinal excitation. Understanding these differences may help to develop future therapeutic strategies to improve upper and lower limb function in patients with incomplete cervical spinal cord injuries.

  11. Cure of urinary bladder functions in severe (95%) motoric complete cervical spinal cord injury in human.

    PubMed

    Schalow, G

    2010-01-01

    Severe cervical Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) leads to quadriplegia, and autonomic dysfunctions. Bladder/bowel continence, cardiovascular performance, and breathing are impaired besides movements. Even though there are no fully restorative treatments for SCI, I report about a patient, who suffered a severe cervical, motoric complete SCI, in whom urinary bladder functions were fully repaired by functional and structural repair (limited regeneration of the cord) upon 2.5 years of Coordination Dynamics Therapy (CDT). On the repair of the blood circulation (no occurrence of pressure ulcers any more), breathing and motor functions was reported earlier. The mechanism that underlies this important repair of urinary bladder functions is the learning transfer from movements to bladder functions. The human bladder repair is analyzed at the neuron level, the collective variable level (System Theory of Pattern Formation), the movement, and the clinical diagnostic level.

  12. Pulmonary function in patients with hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy: a comparison of patients with and without spinal deformity.

    PubMed

    Horacek, Ondrej; Chlumsky, Jan; Mazanec, Radim; Kolar, Pavel; Andel, Ross; Kobesova, Alena

    2012-12-01

    We assessed pulmonary function in hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy. Fourteen neuropathy patients without spinal deformity (group 1), 14 with spinal deformity (group 2), and 16 individuals with idiopathic spinal deformity (group 3) matched to group 2 for age, height and Cobb angle, were included. Hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy severity was measured with Charcot-Marie-Tooth Neuropathy Score. All participants exhibited mild decrease in maximal inspiratory pressure at the mouth. One-way analysis of variance yielded significant main effects for lung volumes - slow vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1s, and total lung capacity (p's<.01), attributable to greater volumes in group 1 compared to groups with spinal deformity - and transfer factor for carbon monoxide (p=.013), reflecting differences between groups 1 vs. 2. Slow vital capacity and total lung capacity correlated with maximal inspiratory pressure at the mouth in group 2, whereas slow vital capacity correlated with muscle work in group 3 (p's<.05). Decreased lung volume may be due to impaired respiratory muscle strength in hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy with spinal deformity and due to spinal deformity in idiopathic patients.

  13. Effect of hyperbaric oxygen on MMP9/2 expression and motor function in rats with spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Hou, Ying-Nuo; Ding, Wen-Yuan; Shen, Yong; Yang, Da-Long; Wang, Lin-Feng; Zhang, Peng

    2015-01-01

    To study the effect of hyperbaric oxygen intervention on the microenvironment of nerve regeneration after spinal cord injury modeling and to explore the possible mechanism of nerve regeneration and functional recovery in rats with spinal cord injury. In 98 adult female SD rats, 90 successful models were obtained, which were divided into sham group, spinal cord injury group and hyperbaric oxygen group using randomized block method, 30/group. Spinal cord injury rat model was established in accordance with the modified Allen method. Motor function was assessed at the time points of before modeling, one day, three days, one week, two weeks, three weeks and four weeks after modeling respectively by BBB rating, inclined plane test and improved Tarlov score. At 3 days after modeling, apoptosis of neuronal cells in spinal cord injury region in experimental group was detected by TUNEL method; gene and protein expression of MMP9/2 in spinal cord injury and surrounding tissues was detected by RT-PCR and Western blot assay. At 4 weeks after modeling, histopathological morphological changes in spinal cord injury were observed by HE staining; fluorogold retrograde tracing was used to observe the regeneration and distribution of spinal cord nerve fibers and axon regeneration was observed by TEM. The three motor function scores in hyperbaric oxygen group at each time point after two weeks of treatment were significantly increased compared with spinal cord injury group (P < 0.05). At 3 d after modeling, apoptosis index in hyperbaric oxygen group were significantly lower than those in spinal cord injury group (P < 0.05). At 72 h after modeling, compared with spinal cord injury group, MMP9/2 gene and protein expression in hyperbaric oxygen group was significantly lower (P < 0.05). At four weeks after modeling, fluorogold positive nerve fibers were the most sham group, followed by hyperbaric oxygen group and spinal cord injury group in order; the differences among the groups were

  14. Curcumin improves the recovery of motor function and reduces spinal cord edema in a rat acute spinal cord injury model by inhibiting the JAK/STAT signaling pathway.

    PubMed

    Zu, Jianing; Wang, Yufu; Xu, Gongping; Zhuang, Jinpeng; Gong, He; Yan, Jinglong

    2014-10-01

    Curcumin, a yellow pigment extracted from Carcuma longa, has been demonstrated to have extensive pharmacological activity in various studies, and it exhibits protective effects on injuries involving a number of human organs. The present study was designed to evaluate the potential effect and underlying mechanism of curcumin on the motor function and spinal cord edema in a rat acute spinal cord injury (SCI) model. The SCI model was induced by a heavy object falling. At 30min after the SCI was successfully induced, the animals were intraperitoneally given 40mg/kg curcumin. The Basso, Beattie and Bresnahan scores showed that curcumin moderately improved the recovery of the motor function in the injured rats, and hematoxylin-eosin staining demonstrated the role of this compound in reducing the hemorrhage, edema and neutrophil infiltration of the traumatic spinal cord. Furthermore, curcumin also inhibited the SCI-associated aquaporin - 4 (AQP4) overexpression and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and repressed the unusual activation of the JAK/STAT signaling pathway. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that curcumin exhibits a moderately protective effect on spinal cord injury, and this effect might be related to the inhibition of overexpressed AQP4 and GFAP and the activated JAK/STAT signaling pathway. Curcumin may have potential for use as a therapeutic option for spinal cord injuries. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  15. ALS disrupts spinal motor neuron maturation and aging pathways within gene co-expression networks

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Ritchie; Sances, Samuel; Gowing, Genevieve; Amoroso, Mackenzie Weygandt; O'Rourke, Jacqueline G.; Sahabian, Anais; Wichterle, Hynek; Baloh, Robert H.; Sareen, Dhruv

    2016-01-01

    Modeling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) with human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) aims to reenact embryogenesis, maturation, and aging of spinal motor neurons (spMNs) in vitro. As the maturity of spMNs grown in vitro compared to spMNs in vivo remains largely unaddressed, it is unclear to what extent this in vitro system captures critical aspects of spMN development and molecular signatures associated with ALS. Here, we compared transcriptomes among iPSC-derived spMNs, fetal, and adult spinal tissues. This approach produced a maturation scale revealing that iPSC-derived spMNs were more similar to fetal spinal tissue than to adult spMNs. Additionally, we resolved gene networks and pathways associated with spMN maturation and aging. These networks enriched for pathogenic familial ALS genetic variants and were disrupted in sporadic ALS spMNs. Altogether, our findings suggest that developing strategies to further mature and age iPSC-derived spMNs will provide more effective iPSC models of ALS pathology. PMID:27428653

  16. Spinal cord injury affects I-wave facilitation in human motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Nardone, Raffaele; Höller, Yvonne; Bathke, Arne C; Orioli, Andrea; Schwenker, Kerstin; Frey, Vanessa; Golaszewski, Stefan; Brigo, Francesco; Trinka, Eugen

    2015-07-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a useful non-invasive approach for studying cortical physiology. To further clarify the mechanisms of cortical reorganization after spinal cord injury (SCI), we used a non-invasive paired TMS protocol for the investigation of the corticospinal I-waves, the so-called I-wave facilitation, in eight patients with cervical SCI. We found that the pattern of I-wave facilitation significantly differs between SCI patients with normal and abnormal central motor conduction (CMCT), and healthy controls. The group with normal CMCT showed increased I-wave facilitation, while the group with abnormal CMCT showed lower I-wave facilitation compared to a control group. The facilitatory I-wave interaction occurs at the level of the motor cortex, and the mechanisms responsible for the production of I-waves are under control of GABA-related inhibition. Therefore, the findings of our small sample preliminary study provide further physiological evidence of increased motor cortical excitability in patients with preserved corticospinal projections. This is possibly due to decreased GABAergic intracortical inhibition. The excitability of networks producing short-interval intracortical facilitation could increase after SCI as a mechanism to enhance activation of residual corticospinal tract pathways and thus compensate for the impaired ability of the motor cortex to generate appropriate voluntary movements. Finally, the I-wave facilitation technique could be used in clinical neurorehabilitation as an additional method of assessing and monitoring function in SCI. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Do additional inputs change maximal voluntary motor unit firing rates after spinal cord injury?

    PubMed

    Zijdewind, Inge; Gant, Katie; Bakels, Rob; Thomas, Christine K

    2012-01-01

    Motor unit firing frequencies are low during maximal voluntary contractions (MVCs) of human thenar muscles impaired by cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). This study aimed to examine whether thenar motor unit firing frequencies increase when driven by both maximal voluntary drive and other concurrent inputs compared with an MVC alone. Motor unit firing rates, force, and surface electromyographic activity (EMG) were compared across 2 contractions: (a) MVC alone and (b) MVC combined with another input (combination contraction). Other inputs (conditions) included vibration, heat, or cold applied to the anterior surface of the forearm, electrical stimulation delivered to the anterior surface of the middle finger, a muscle spasm, or a voluntary contraction of the contralateral thenar muscles against resistance. The maximal firing frequency (n = 68 units), force, and electromyographic activity (n = 92 contraction pairs) were all significantly higher during the combined contractions compared with MVCs alone. There was a 3-way interaction between contraction, condition, and subject for maximal motor unit firing rates, force, and EMG. Thus, combined contraction responses were different for conditions across subjects. Some conditions (eg, a muscle spasm) resulted in more effective and more frequent responses (increases in unit firing frequency, force, EMG in >50% contractions) than others. Recruitment of new units also occurred in combined contractions. Motoneurons are still responsive to additional afferent inputs from various sources when rate modulation from voluntary drive is limited by SCI. Individuals with SCI may be able to combine inputs to control functional tasks they cannot perform with voluntary drive alone.

  18. Fine motor skill training enhances functional plasticity of the corticospinal tract after spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jian; Yang, Xiao-yu; Xia, Wei-wei; Dong, Jian; Yang, Mao-guang; Jiao, Jian-hang

    2016-01-01

    Following central nervous system injury, axonal sprouts form distal to the injury site and extend into the denervated area, reconstructing neural circuits through neural plasticity. How to facilitate this plasticity has become the key to the success of central nervous system repair. It remains controversial whether fine motor skill training contributes to the recovery of neurological function after spinal cord injury. Therefore, we established a rat model of unilateral corticospinal tract injury using a pyramidal tract cutting method. Horizontal ladder crawling and food ball grasping training procedures were conducted 2 weeks before injury and 3 days after injury. The neurological function of rat forelimbs was assessed at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 weeks after injury. Axon growth was observed with biotinylated dextran amine anterograde tracing in the healthy corticospinal tract of the denervated area at different time periods. Our results demonstrate that compared with untrained rats, functional recovery was better in the forelimbs and forepaws of trained rats. The number of axons and the expression of growth associated protein 43 were increased at the injury site 3 weeks after corticospinal tract injury. These findings confirm that fine motor skill training promotes central nervous system plasticity in spinal cord injury rats. PMID:28197197

  19. Intramedullary lesion expansion on magnetic resonance imaging in patients with motor complete cervical spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Aarabi, Bizhan; Simard, J Marc; Kufera, Joseph A; Alexander, Melvin; Zacherl, Katie M; Mirvis, Stuart E; Shanmuganathan, Kathirkamanthan; Schwartzbauer, Gary; Maulucci, Christopher M; Slavin, Justin; Ali, Khawar; Massetti, Jennifer; Eisenberg, Howard M

    2012-09-01

    The authors performed a study to determine if lesion expansion occurs in humans during the early hours after spinal cord injury (SCI), as has been established in rodent models of SCI, and to identify factors that might predict lesion expansion. The authors studied 42 patients with acute cervical SCI and admission American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale Grades A (35 patients) and B (7 patients) in whom 2 consecutive MRI scans were obtained 3-134 hours after trauma. They recorded demographic data, clinical information, Injury Severity Score (ISS), admission MRI-documented spinal canal and cord characteristics, and management strategies. The characteristics of the cohort were as follows: male/female ratio 37:5; mean age, 34.6 years; and cause of injury, motor vehicle collision, falls, and sport injuries in 40 of 42 cases. The first MRI study was performed 6.8 ±2.7 hours (mean ± SD) after injury, and the second was performed 54.5 ± 32.3 hours after injury. The rostrocaudal intramedullary length of the lesion on the first MRI scan was 59.2 ± 16.1 mm, whereas its length on the second was 88.5 ± 31.9 mm. The principal factors associated with lesion length on the first MRI study were the time between injury and imaging (p = 0.05) and the time to decompression (p = 0.03). The lesion's rate of rostrocaudal intramedullary expansion in the interval between the first and second MRI was 0.9 ± 0.8 mm/hour. The principal factors associated with the rate of expansion were the maximum spinal cord compression (p = 0.03) and the mechanism of injury (p = 0.05). Spinal cord injury in humans is characterized by lesion expansion during the hours following trauma. Lesion expansion has a positive relationship with spinal cord compression and may be mitigated by early surgical decompression. Lesion expansion may be a novel surrogate measure by which to assess therapeutic effects in surgical or drug trials.

  20. A Role for SMN Exon 7 Splicing in the Selective Vulnerability of Motor Neurons in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Ruggiu, Matteo; McGovern, Vicki L.; Lotti, Francesco; Saieva, Luciano; Li, Darrick K.; Kariya, Shingo; Monani, Umrao R.; Burghes, Arthur H. M.

    2012-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an inherited motor neuron disease caused by homozygous loss of the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. In the absence of SMN1, inefficient inclusion of exon 7 in transcripts from the nearly identical SMN2 gene results in ubiquitous SMN decrease but selective motor neuron degeneration. Here we investigated whether cell type-specific differences in the efficiency of exon 7 splicing contribute to the vulnerability of SMA motor neurons. We show that normal motor neurons express markedly lower levels of full-length SMN mRNA from SMN2 than do other cells in the spinal cord. This is due to inefficient exon 7 splicing that is intrinsic to motor neurons under normal conditions. We also find that SMN depletion in mammalian cells decreases exon 7 inclusion through a negative feedback loop affecting the splicing of its own mRNA. This mechanism is active in vivo and further decreases the efficiency of exon 7 inclusion specifically in motor neurons of severe-SMA mice. Consistent with expression of lower levels of full-length SMN, we find that SMN-dependent downstream molecular defects are exacerbated in SMA motor neurons. These findings suggest a mechanism to explain the selective vulnerability of motor neurons to loss of SMN1. PMID:22037760

  1. Spinal Muscular Atrophy Patient iPSC-Derived Motor Neurons Have Reduced Expression of Proteins Important in Neuronal Development

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, Heidi R.; Mandefro, Berhan; Shirran, Sally L.; Gross, Andrew R.; Kaus, Anjoscha S.; Botting, Catherine H.; Morris, Glenn E.; Sareen, Dhruv

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an inherited neuromuscular disease primarily characterized by degeneration of spinal motor neurons, and caused by reduced levels of the SMN protein. Previous studies to understand the proteomic consequences of reduced SMN have mostly utilized patient fibroblasts and animal models. We have derived human motor neurons from type I SMA and healthy controls by creating their induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Quantitative mass spectrometry of these cells revealed increased expression of 63 proteins in control motor neurons compared to respective fibroblasts, whereas 30 proteins were increased in SMA motor neurons vs. their fibroblasts. Notably, UBA1 was significantly decreased in SMA motor neurons, supporting evidence for ubiquitin pathway defects. Subcellular distribution of UBA1 was predominantly cytoplasmic in SMA motor neurons in contrast to nuclear in control motor neurons; suggestive of neurodevelopmental abnormalities. Many of the proteins that were decreased in SMA motor neurons, including beta III-tubulin and UCHL1, were associated with neurodevelopment and differentiation. These neuron-specific consequences of SMN depletion were not evident in fibroblasts, highlighting the importance of iPSC technology. The proteomic profiles identified here provide a useful resource to explore the molecular consequences of reduced SMN in motor neurons, and for the identification of novel biomarker and therapeutic targets for SMA. PMID:26793058

  2. Shaping appropriate locomotive motor output through interlimb neural pathway within spinal cord in humans.

    PubMed

    Kawashima, Noritaka; Nozaki, Daichi; Abe, Masaki O; Nakazawa, Kimitaka

    2008-06-01

    Direct evidence supporting the contribution of upper limb motion on the generation of locomotive motor output in humans is still limited. Here, we aimed to examine the effect of upper limb motion on locomotor-like muscle activities in the lower limb in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). By imposing passive locomotion-like leg movements, all cervical incomplete (n = 7) and thoracic complete SCI subjects (n = 5) exhibited locomotor-like muscle activity in their paralyzed soleus muscles. Upper limb movements in thoracic complete SCI subjects did not affect the electromyographic (EMG) pattern of the muscle activities. This is quite natural since neural connections in the spinal cord between regions controlling upper and lower limbs were completely lost in these subjects. On the other hand, in cervical incomplete SCI subjects, in whom such neural connections were at least partially preserved, the locomotor-like muscle activity was significantly affected by passively imposed upper limb movements. Specifically, the upper limb movements generally increased the soleus EMG activity during the backward swing phase, which corresponds to the stance phase in normal gait. Although some subjects showed a reduction of the EMG magnitude when arm motion was imposed, this was still consistent with locomotor-like motor output because the reduction of the EMG occurred during the forward swing phase corresponding to the swing phase. The present results indicate that the neural signal induced by the upper limb movements contributes not merely to enhance but also to shape the lower limb locomotive motor output, possibly through interlimb neural pathways. Such neural interaction between upper and lower limb motions could be an underlying neural mechanism of human bipedal locomotion.

  3. Characterization of Volitional Electromyographic Signals in the Lower Extremity After Motor Complete Spinal Cord Injury.

    PubMed

    Heald, Elizabeth; Hart, Ronald; Kilgore, Kevin; Peckham, P Hunter

    2017-06-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated the presence of intact axons across a spinal cord lesion, even in those clinically diagnosed with complete spinal cord injury (SCI). These axons may allow volitional motor signals to be transmitted through the injury, even in the absence of visible muscle contraction. To demonstrate the presence of volitional electromyographic (EMG) activity below the lesion in motor complete SCI and to characterize this activity to determine its value for potential use as a neuroprosthetic command source. Twenty-four subjects with complete (AIS A or B), chronic, cervical SCI were tested for the presence of volitional below-injury EMG activity. Surface electrodes recorded from 8 to 12 locations of each lower limb, while participants were asked to attempt specific movements of the lower extremity in response to visual and audio cues. EMG trials were ranked through visual inspection, and were scored using an amplitude threshold algorithm to identify channels of interest with volitional motor unit activity. Significant below-injury muscle activity was identified through visual inspection in 16 of 24 participants, and visual inspection rankings were well correlated to the algorithm scoring. The surface EMG protocol utilized here is relatively simple and noninvasive, ideal for a clinical screening tool. The majority of subjects tested were able to produce a volitional EMG signal below their injury level, and the algorithm developed allows automatic identification of signals of interest. The presence of this volitional activity in the lower extremity could provide an innovative new command signal source for implanted neuroprostheses or other assistive technology.

  4. The effects of cervical transcutaneous spinal direct current stimulation on motor pathways supplying the upper limb in humans

    PubMed Central

    D’Amico, Jessica M.; Butler, Jane E.; Taylor, Janet L.

    2017-01-01

    Non-invasive, weak direct current stimulation can induce changes in excitability of underlying neural tissue. Many studies have used transcranial direct current stimulation to induce changes in the brain, however more recently a number of studies have used transcutaneous spinal direct current stimulation to induce changes in the spinal cord. This study further characterises the effects following cervical transcutaneous spinal direct current stimulation on motor pathways supplying the upper limb. In Study 1, on two separate days, participants (n = 12, 5 F) received 20 minutes of either real or sham direct current stimulation at 3 mA through electrodes placed in an anterior-posterior configuration over the neck (anode anterior). Biceps brachii, flexor carpi radialis and first dorsal interosseous responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation (motor evoked potentials) and cervicomedullary stimulation (cervicomedullary motor evoked potentials) were measured before and after real or sham stimulation. In Study 2, on two separate days, participants (n = 12, 7 F) received either real or sham direct current stimulation in the same way as for Study 1. Before and after real or sham stimulation, median nerve stimulation elicited M waves and H reflexes in the flexor carpi radialis. H-reflex recruitment curves and homosynaptic depression of the H reflex were assessed. Results show that the effects of real and sham direct current stimulation did not differ for motor evoked potentials or cervicomedullary motor evoked potentials for any muscle, nor for H-reflex recruitment curve parameters or homosynaptic depression. Cervical transcutaneous spinal direct current stimulation with the parameters described here does not modify motor responses to corticospinal stimulation nor does it modify H reflexes of the upper limb. These results are important for the emerging field of transcutaneous spinal direct current stimulation. PMID:28225813

  5. AMPA Receptor Phosphorylation and Synaptic Colocalization on Motor Neurons Drive Maladaptive Plasticity below Complete Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Stuck, Ellen D.; Irvine, Karen-Amanda; Bresnahan, Jacqueline C.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Clinical spinal cord injury (SCI) is accompanied by comorbid peripheral injury in 47% of patients. Human and animal modeling data have shown that painful peripheral injuries undermine long-term recovery of locomotion through unknown mechanisms. Peripheral nociceptive stimuli induce maladaptive synaptic plasticity in dorsal horn sensory systems through AMPA receptor (AMPAR) phosphorylation and trafficking to synapses. Here we test whether ventral horn motor neurons in rats demonstrate similar experience-dependent maladaptive plasticity below a complete SCI in vivo. Quantitative biochemistry demonstrated that intermittent nociceptive stimulation (INS) rapidly and selectively increases AMPAR subunit GluA1 serine 831 phosphorylation and localization to synapses in the injured spinal cord, while reducing synaptic GluA2. These changes predict motor dysfunction in the absence of cell death signaling, suggesting an opportunity for therapeutic reversal. Automated confocal time-course analysis of lumbar ventral horn motor neurons confirmed a time-dependent increase in synaptic GluA1 with concurrent decrease in synaptic GluA2. Optical fractionation of neuronal plasma membranes revealed GluA2 removal from extrasynaptic sites on motor neurons early after INS followed by removal from synapses 2 h later. As GluA2-lacking AMPARs are canonical calcium-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs), their stimulus- and time-dependent insertion provides a therapeutic target for limiting calcium-dependent dynamic maladaptive plasticity after SCI. Confirming this, a selective CP-AMPAR antagonist protected against INS-induced maladaptive spinal plasticity, restoring adaptive motor responses on a sensorimotor spinal training task. These findings highlight the critical involvement of AMPARs in experience-dependent spinal cord plasticity after injury and provide a pharmacologically targetable synaptic mechanism by which early postinjury experience shapes motor plasticity. PMID:26668821

  6. AMPA Receptor Phosphorylation and Synaptic Colocalization on Motor Neurons Drive Maladaptive Plasticity below Complete Spinal Cord Injury.

    PubMed

    Huie, J Russell; Stuck, Ellen D; Lee, Kuan H; Irvine, Karen-Amanda; Beattie, Michael S; Bresnahan, Jacqueline C; Grau, James W; Ferguson, Adam R

    2015-01-01

    Clinical spinal cord injury (SCI) is accompanied by comorbid peripheral injury in 47% of patients. Human and animal modeling data have shown that painful peripheral injuries undermine long-term recovery of locomotion through unknown mechanisms. Peripheral nociceptive stimuli induce maladaptive synaptic plasticity in dorsal horn sensory systems through AMPA receptor (AMPAR) phosphorylation and trafficking to synapses. Here we test whether ventral horn motor neurons in rats demonstrate similar experience-dependent maladaptive plasticity below a complete SCI in vivo. Quantitative biochemistry demonstrated that intermittent nociceptive stimulation (INS) rapidly and selectively increases AMPAR subunit GluA1 serine 831 phosphorylation and localization to synapses in the injured spinal cord, while reducing synaptic GluA2. These changes predict motor dysfunction in the absence of cell death signaling, suggesting an opportunity for therapeutic reversal. Automated confocal time-course analysis of lumbar ventral horn motor neurons confirmed a time-dependent increase in synaptic GluA1 with concurrent decrease in synaptic GluA2. Optical fractionation of neuronal plasma membranes revealed GluA2 removal from extrasynaptic sites on motor neurons early after INS followed by removal from synapses 2 h later. As GluA2-lacking AMPARs are canonical calcium-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs), their stimulus- and time-dependent insertion provides a therapeutic target for limiting calcium-dependent dynamic maladaptive plasticity after SCI. Confirming this, a selective CP-AMPAR antagonist protected against INS-induced maladaptive spinal plasticity, restoring adaptive motor responses on a sensorimotor spinal training task. These findings highlight the critical involvement of AMPARs in experience-dependent spinal cord plasticity after injury and provide a pharmacologically targetable synaptic mechanism by which early postinjury experience shapes motor plasticity.

  7. The effects of cervical transcutaneous spinal direct current stimulation on motor pathways supplying the upper limb in humans.

    PubMed

    Dongés, Siobhan C; D'Amico, Jessica M; Butler, Jane E; Taylor, Janet L

    2017-01-01

    Non-invasive, weak direct current stimulation can induce changes in excitability of underlying neural tissue. Many studies have used transcranial direct current stimulation to induce changes in the brain, however more recently a number of studies have used transcutaneous spinal direct current stimulation to induce changes in the spinal cord. This study further characterises the effects following cervical transcutaneous spinal direct current stimulation on motor pathways supplying the upper limb. In Study 1, on two separate days, participants (n = 12, 5 F) received 20 minutes of either real or sham direct current stimulation at 3 mA through electrodes placed in an anterior-posterior configuration over the neck (anode anterior). Biceps brachii, flexor carpi radialis and first dorsal interosseous responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation (motor evoked potentials) and cervicomedullary stimulation (cervicomedullary motor evoked potentials) were measured before and after real or sham stimulation. In Study 2, on two separate days, participants (n = 12, 7 F) received either real or sham direct current stimulation in the same way as for Study 1. Before and after real or sham stimulation, median nerve stimulation elicited M waves and H reflexes in the flexor carpi radialis. H-reflex recruitment curves and homosynaptic depression of the H reflex were assessed. Results show that the effects of real and sham direct current stimulation did not differ for motor evoked potentials or cervicomedullary motor evoked potentials for any muscle, nor for H-reflex recruitment curve parameters or homosynaptic depression. Cervical transcutaneous spinal direct current stimulation with the parameters described here does not modify motor responses to corticospinal stimulation nor does it modify H reflexes of the upper limb. These results are important for the emerging field of transcutaneous spinal direct current stimulation.

  8. Simulation system of spinal cord motor nuclei and associated nerves and muscles, in a Web-based architecture.

    PubMed

    Cisi, Rogerio R L; Kohn, André F

    2008-12-01

    A Web-based simulation system of the spinal cord circuitry responsible for muscle control is described. The simulator employs two-compartment motoneuron models for S, FR and FF types, with synaptic inputs acting through conductance variations. Four motoneuron pools with their associated interneurons are represented in the simulator, with the possibility of inclusion of more than 2,000 neurons and 2,000,000 synapses. Each motoneuron action potential is followed, after a conduction delay, by a motor unit potential and a motor unit twitch. The sums of all motor unit potentials and twitches result in the electromyogram (EMG), and the muscle force, respectively. Inputs to the motoneuron pool come from populations of interneurons (Ia reciprocal inhibitory interneurons, Ib interneurons, and Renshaw cells) and from stochastic point processes associated with descending tracts. To simulate human electrophysiological experiments, the simulator incorporates external nerve stimulation with orthodromic and antidromic propagation. This provides the mechanisms for reflex generation and activation of spinal neuronal circuits that modulate the activity of another motoneuron pool (e.g., by reciprocal inhibition). The generation of the H-reflex by the Ia-motoneuron pool system and its modulation by spinal cord interneurons is included in the simulation system. Studies with the simulator may include the statistics of individual motoneuron or interneuron spike trains or the collective effect of a motor nucleus on the dynamics of muscle force control. Properties associated with motor-unit recruitment, motor-unit synchronization, recurrent inhibition and reciprocal inhibition may be investigated.

  9. Mechanism of Forelimb Motor Function Restoration after Cervical Spinal Cord Hemisection in Rats: A Comparison of Juveniles and Adults.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Atsushi; Takahashi, Masahito; Satomi, Kazuhiko; Ohne, Hideaki; Takeuchi, Takumi; Sato, Shunsuke; Ichimura, Shoichi

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate forelimb motor function after cervical spinal cord injury in juvenile and adult rats. Both rats received a left segmental hemisection of the spinal cord after C3-C4 laminectomy. Behavioral evaluation of motor function was monitored and assessed using the New Rating Scale (NRS) and Forelimb Locomotor Scale (FLS) and by measuring the range of motion (ROM) of both the elbow and wrist. Complete left forelimb motor paralysis was observed in both rats. The NRS showed motor function recovery restored to 50.2 ± 24.7% in juvenile rats and 34.0 ± 19.8% in adult rats. FLS was 60.4 ± 26.8% in juvenile rats and 46.5 ± 26.9% in adult rats. ROM of the elbow and wrist were 88.9 ± 20.6% and 44.4 ± 24.1% in juvenile rats and 70.0 ± 29.2% and 40.0 ± 21.1% in adult rats. Thus, the NRS and ROM of the elbow showed a significant difference between age groups. These results indicate that left hemisection of the cervical spinal cord was not related to right-sided motor functions. Moreover, while motor paralysis of the left forelimb gradually recovered in both groups, the improvement was greater in juvenile rats.

  10. Induction of Parkinson disease-related proteins in motor neurons after transient spinal cord ischemia in rabbits.

    PubMed

    Sakurai, Masahiro; Kawamura, Takae; Nishimura, Hidekazu; Suzuki, Hiroyoshi; Tezuka, Fumiaki; Abe, Koji

    2009-04-01

    The mechanism of spinal cord injury has been thought to be related to the vulnerability of spinal motor neuron cells against ischemia. However, the mechanisms of such vulnerability are not fully understood. We investigated a possible mechanism of neuronal death by immunohistochemical analysis for DJ-1, PINK1, and alpha-Synuclein. We used a 15-min rabbit spinal cord ischemia model, with use of a balloon catheter. Western blot analysis for DJ-1, PINK1, and alpha-Synuclein; temporal profiles of DJ-1, PINK1, and alpha-Synuclein immunoreactivity; and double-label fluorescence immunocytochemical studies were performed. Western blot analysis revealed scarce immunoreactivity for DJ-1, PINK1, and alpha-Synuclein in the sham-operated spinal cords. However, they became apparent at 8 h after transient ischemia, which returned to the baseline level at 1 day. Double-label fluorescence immunocytochemical study revealed that both DJ-1 and PINK1, and DJ-1 and alpha-Synuclein were positive at 8 h of reperfusion in the same motor neurons, which eventually die. The induction of DJ-1 and PINK1 proteins in the motor neurons at the early stage of reperfusion may indicate oxidative stress, and the induction of alpha-Synuclein may be implicated in the programmed cell death change after transient spinal cord ischemia.

  11. Templated agarose scaffolds for the support of motor axon regeneration into sites of complete spinal cord transection.

    PubMed

    Gao, Mingyong; Lu, Paul; Bednark, Bridget; Lynam, Dan; Conner, James M; Sakamoto, Jeff; Tuszynski, Mark H

    2013-02-01

    Bioengineered scaffolds have the potential to support and guide injured axons after spinal cord injury, contributing to neural repair. In previous studies we have reported that templated agarose scaffolds can be fabricated into precise linear arrays and implanted into the partially injured spinal cord, organizing growth and enhancing the distance over which local spinal cord axons and ascending sensory axons extend into a lesion site. However, most human injuries are severe, sparing only thin rims of spinal cord tissue in the margins of a lesion site. Accordingly, in the present study we examined whether template agarose scaffolds seeded with bone marrow stromal cells secreting Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) would support regeneration into severe, complete spinal cord transection sites. Moreover, we tested responses of motor axon populations originating from the brainstem. We find that templated agarose scaffolds support motor axon regeneration into a severe spinal cord injury model and organize axons into fascicles of highly linear configuration. BDNF significantly enhances axonal growth. Collectively, these findings support the feasibility of scaffold implantation for enhancing central regeneration after even severe central nervous system injury.

  12. RetroDISCO: Clearing technique to improve quantification of retrograde labeled motor neurons of intact mouse spinal cords.

    PubMed

    Žygelytė, Emilija; Bernard, Megan E; Tomlinson, Joy E; Martin, Matthew J; Terhorst, Allegra; Bradford, Harriet E; Lundquist, Sarah A; Sledziona, Michael; Cheetham, Jonathan

    2016-09-15

    Quantification of the number of axons reinnervating a target organ is often used to assess regeneration after peripheral nerve repair, but because of axonal branching, this method can overestimate the number of motor neurons regenerating across an injury. Current methods to count the number of regenerated motor neurons include retrograde labeling followed by cryosectioning and counting labeled motor neuron cell bodies, however, the process of sectioning introduces error from potential double counting of cells in adjacent sections. We describe a method, retroDISCO, that optically clears whole mouse spinal cord without loss of fluorescent signal to allow imaging of retrograde labeled motor neurons using confocal microscopy. Complete optical clearing of spinal cords takes four hours and confocal microscopy can obtain z-stacks of labeled motor neuron pools within 3-5min. The technique is able to detect anticipated differences in motor neuron number after cross-suture and conduit repair compared to intact mice and is highly repeatable. RetroDISCO is inexpensive, simple, robust and uses commonly available microscopy techniques to determine the number of motor neurons extending axons across an injury site, avoiding the need for labor-intensive cryosectioning and potential double counting of motor neuron cell bodies in adjacent sections. RetroDISCO allows rapid quantification of the degree of reinnervation without the confounding produced by axonal sprouting. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Synergistic integration of Netrin and ephrin axon guidance signals by spinal motor neurons

    PubMed Central

    Poliak, Sebastian; Morales, Daniel; Croteau, Louis-Philippe; Krawchuk, Dayana; Palmesino, Elena; Morton, Susan; Cloutier, Jean-François; Charron, Frederic; Dalva, Matthew B; Ackerman, Susan L; Kao, Tzu-Jen; Kania, Artur

    2015-01-01

    During neural circuit assembly, axonal growth cones are exposed to multiple guidance signals at trajectory choice points. While axonal responses to individual guidance cues have been extensively studied, less is known about responses to combination of signals and underlying molecular mechanisms. Here, we studied the convergence of signals directing trajectory selection of spinal motor axons entering the limb. We first demonstrate that Netrin-1 attracts and repels distinct motor axon populations, according to their expression of Netrin receptors. Quantitative in vitro assays demonstrate that motor axons synergistically integrate both attractive or repulsive Netrin-1 signals together with repulsive ephrin signals. Our investigations of the mechanism of ephrin-B2 and Netrin-1 integration demonstrate that the Netrin receptor Unc5c and the ephrin receptor EphB2 can form a complex in a ligand-dependent manner and that Netrin–ephrin synergistic growth cones responses involve the potentiation of Src family kinase signaling, a common effector of both pathways. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10841.001 PMID:26633881

  14. Alterations in multidimensional motor unit number index of hand muscles after incomplete cervical spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Li, Le; Li, Xiaoyan; Liu, Jie; Zhou, Ping

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to apply a novel multidimensional motor unit number index (MD-MUNIX) technique to examine hand muscles in patients with incomplete cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). The MD-MUNIX was estimated from the compound muscle action potential (CMAP) and different levels of surface interference pattern electromyogram (EMG) at multiple directions of voluntary isometric muscle contraction. The MD-MUNIX was applied in the first dorsal interosseous (FDI), thenar and hypothenar muscles of SCI (n = 12) and healthy control (n = 12) subjects. The results showed that the SCI subjects had significantly smaller CMAP and MD-MUNIX in all the three examined muscles, compared to those derived from the healthy control subjects. The multidimensional motor unit size index (MD-MUSIX) demonstrated significantly larger values for the FDI and hypothenar muscles in SCI subjects than those from healthy control subjects, whereas the MD-MUSIX enlargement was marginally significant for the thenar muscles. The findings from the MD-MUNIX analyses provide an evidence of motor unit loss in hand muscles of cervical SCI patients, contributing to hand function deterioration. PMID:26005410

  15. Alterations in multidimensional motor unit number index of hand muscles after incomplete cervical spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Li, Le; Li, Xiaoyan; Liu, Jie; Zhou, Ping

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to apply a novel multidimensional motor unit number index (MD-MUNIX) technique to examine hand muscles in patients with incomplete cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). The MD-MUNIX was estimated from the compound muscle action potential (CMAP) and different levels of surface interference pattern electromyogram (EMG) at multiple directions of voluntary isometric muscle contraction. The MD-MUNIX was applied in the first dorsal interosseous (FDI), thenar and hypothenar muscles of SCI (n = 12) and healthy control (n = 12) subjects. The results showed that the SCI subjects had significantly smaller CMAP and MD-MUNIX in all the three examined muscles, compared to those derived from the healthy control subjects. The multidimensional motor unit size index (MD-MUSIX) demonstrated significantly larger values for the FDI and hypothenar muscles in SCI subjects than those from healthy control subjects, whereas the MD-MUSIX enlargement was marginally significant for the thenar muscles. The findings from the MD-MUNIX analyses provide an evidence of motor unit loss in hand muscles of cervical SCI patients, contributing to hand function deterioration.

  16. Spinal motor neuron protein supersaturation patterns are associated with inclusion body formation in ALS

    PubMed Central

    Ciryam, Prajwal; Lambert-Smith, Isabella A.; Bean, Daniel M.; Freer, Rosie; Cid, Fernando; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano; Saunders, Darren N.; Wilson, Mark R.; Morimoto, Richard I.; Dobson, Christopher M.; Vendruscolo, Michele; Favrin, Giorgio; Yerbury, Justin J.

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a heterogeneous degenerative motor neuron disease linked to numerous genetic mutations in apparently unrelated proteins. These proteins, including SOD1, TDP-43, and FUS, are highly aggregation-prone and form a variety of intracellular inclusion bodies that are characteristic of different neuropathological subtypes of the disease. Contained within these inclusions are a variety of proteins that do not share obvious characteristics other than coaggregation. However, recent evidence from other neurodegenerative disorders suggests that disease-affected biochemical pathways can be characterized by the presence of proteins that are supersaturated, with cellular concentrations significantly greater than their solubilities. Here, we show that the proteins that form inclusions of mutant SOD1, TDP-43, and FUS are not merely a subset of the native interaction partners of these three proteins, which are themselves supersaturated. To explain the presence of coaggregating proteins in inclusions in the brain and spinal cord, we observe that they have an average supersaturation even greater than the average supersaturation of the native interaction partners in motor neurons, but not when scores are generated from an average of other human tissues. These results suggest that inclusion bodies in various forms of ALS result from a set of proteins that are metastable in motor neurons, and thus prone to aggregation upon a disease-related progressive collapse of protein homeostasis in this specific setting. PMID:28396410

  17. Multi-limb acquisition of motor evoked potentials and its application in spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Iyer, Shrivats; Maybhate, Anil; Presacco, Alessandro; All, Angelo H

    2010-11-30

    The motor evoked potential (MEP) is an electrical response of peripheral neuro-muscular pathways to stimulation of the motor cortex. MEPs provide objective assessment of electrical conduction through the associated neural pathways, and therefore detect disruption due to a nervous system injury such as spinal cord injury (SCI). In our studies of SCI, we developed a novel, multi-channel set-up for MEP acquisition in rat models. Unlike existing electrophysiological systems for SCI assessment, the set-up allows for multi-channel MEP acquisition from all limbs of rats and enables longitudinal monitoring of injury and treatment for in vivo models of experimental SCI. The article describes the development of the set-up and discusses its capabilities to acquire MEPs in rat models of SCI. We demonstrate its use for MEP acquisition under two types of anesthesia as well as a range of cortical stimulation parameters, identifying parameters yielding consistent and reliable MEPs. To validate our set-up, MEPs were recorded from a group of 10 rats before and after contusive SCI. Upon contusion with moderate severity (12.5mm impact height), MEP amplitude decreased by 91.36±6.03%. A corresponding decline of 93.8±11.4% was seen in the motor behavioral score (BBB), a gold standard in rodent models of SCI. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Spinal motor neuron protein supersaturation patterns are associated with inclusion body formation in ALS.

    PubMed

    Ciryam, Prajwal; Lambert-Smith, Isabella A; Bean, Daniel M; Freer, Rosie; Cid, Fernando; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano; Saunders, Darren N; Wilson, Mark R; Oliver, Stephen G; Morimoto, Richard I; Dobson, Christopher M; Vendruscolo, Michele; Favrin, Giorgio; Yerbury, Justin J

    2017-05-16

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a heterogeneous degenerative motor neuron disease linked to numerous genetic mutations in apparently unrelated proteins. These proteins, including SOD1, TDP-43, and FUS, are highly aggregation-prone and form a variety of intracellular inclusion bodies that are characteristic of different neuropathological subtypes of the disease. Contained within these inclusions are a variety of proteins that do not share obvious characteristics other than coaggregation. However, recent evidence from other neurodegenerative disorders suggests that disease-affected biochemical pathways can be characterized by the presence of proteins that are supersaturated, with cellular concentrations significantly greater than their solubilities. Here, we show that the proteins that form inclusions of mutant SOD1, TDP-43, and FUS are not merely a subset of the native interaction partners of these three proteins, which are themselves supersaturated. To explain the presence of coaggregating proteins in inclusions in the brain and spinal cord, we observe that they have an average supersaturation even greater than the average supersaturation of the native interaction partners in motor neurons, but not when scores are generated from an average of other human tissues. These results suggest that inclusion bodies in various forms of ALS result from a set of proteins that are metastable in motor neurons, and thus prone to aggregation upon a disease-related progressive collapse of protein homeostasis in this specific setting.

  19. Effect of transgenic human insulin-like growth factor-1 on spinal motor neurons following peripheral nerve injury.

    PubMed

    Gu, Jiaxiang; Liu, Hongjun; Zhang, Naichen; Tian, Heng; Pan, Junbo; Zhang, Wenzhong; Wang, Jingcheng

    2015-07-01

    The aim of the present study was to observe the protective effect of exogenous human insulin-like growth factor-1 (hIGF-1) on spinal motor neurons, following its local transfection into an area of peripheral nerve injury. A total of 90 male Wistar rats that had been established as sciatic nerve crush injury models were randomly divided into three groups: hIGF-1 treatment, sham-transfected control and blank control groups. The different phases of hIGF-1 expression were observed in the spinal cord via postoperative immunostaining and the apoptosis of motor neurons was observed using the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling method. Pathological changes of the motor neurons and Nissl bodies within cell bodies were observed via Marsland and Luxol fast blue double staining, while changes in the neuropil of the spinal cord anterior horn were investigated via ultrastructural observation. It was found that hIGF-1, locally transfected into an area of peripheral nerve injury, was expressed in the spinal anterior horn following axoplasmic transport; the peak hIGF-1 expression occurred approximately a week following transfection. The number of apoptotic spinal cord motor neurons observed in the hIGF-1 treatment group was fewer than that in the sham-transfected and blank control groups at days 7, 14 and 21 following transfection (P<0.01). Furthermore, the quantity of motor neuron cells in the anterior horn of the spinal cord in the hIGF-1 treatment group was higher compared with those in the sham-transfected and blank control groups at days 2, 7, 14 and 28 following transfection (P<0.01). The degenerative changes of Nissl bodies within the cytoplasm of the hIGF-1 treatment group were less severe compared with those of the sham-transfected and blank control groups. At day 56 following transfection, the spinal anterior horn neuropil ultrastructure in the hIGF-1 treatment group was generally normal, while the sham-transfected and blank control

  20. eGFP expression under the Uchl1 promoter labels corticospinal motor neurons and a subpopulation of degeneration resistant spinal motor neurons in ALS mouse models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yasvoina, Marina V.

    Current understanding of basic cellular and molecular mechanisms for motor neuron vulnerability during motor neuron disease initiation and progression is incomplete. The complex cytoarchitecture and cellular heterogeneity of the cortex and spinal cord greatly impedes our ability to visualize, isolate, and study specific neuron populations in both healthy and diseased states. We generated a novel reporter line, the Uchl1-eGFP mouse, in which cortical and spinal components of motor neuron circuitry are genetically labeled with eGFP under the Uchl1 promoter. A series of cellular and anatomical analyses combined with retrograde labeling, molecular marker expression, and electrophysiology were employed to determine identity of eGFP expressing cells in the motor cortex and the spinal cord of novel Uchl1-eGFP reporter mice. We conclude that eGFP is expressed in corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN) in the motor cortex and a subset of S-type alpha and gamma spinal motor neurons (SMN) in the spinal cord. hSOD1G93A and Alsin-/- mice, mouse models for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), were bred to Uchl1-eGFP reporter mouse line to investigate the pathophysiology and underlying mechanisms of CSMN degeneration in vivo. Evidence suggests early and progressive degeneration of CSMN and SMN in the hSOD1G93A transgenic mice. We show an early increase of autophagosome formation in the apical dendrites of vulnerable CSMN in hSOD1G93A-UeGFP mice, which is localized to the apical dendrites. In addition, labeling S-type alpha and gamma SMN in the hSOD1G93A-UeGFP mice provide a unique opportunity to study basis of their resistance to degeneration. Mice lacking alsin show moderate clinical phenotype and mild CSMN axon degeneration in the spinal cord, which suggests vulnerability of CSMN. Therefore, we investigated the CSMN cellular and axon defects in aged Alsin-/- mice bred to Uchl1-eGFP reporter mouse line. We show that while CSMN are preserved and lack signs of degeneration, CSMN axons

  1. Effect of volitional relaxation and motor imagery on F wave and MEP: do these tasks affect excitability of the spinal or cortical motor neurons?

    PubMed

    Fujisawa, R; Kimura, J; Taniguchi, S; Ichikawa, H; Hara, M; Shimizu, H; Iida, H; Yamada, T; Tani, T

    2011-07-01

    To test if simple motor imagery, like thumb abduction, preferentially influences the excitability of the spinal or cortical motoneurons. Ten healthy subjects underwent two separate experiments, each consisting of recording F waves and MEPs from abductor pollicis brevis (APB) in three consecutive sessions: (1) baseline, (2) after immobilizing APB for 3 h, and (3) after brief muscle exercise. During the immobilization, the subjects were instructed to volitionally relax APB in experiment 1 (relaxation task), and mentally simulate thumb abduction without actual movement in experiment 2 (imagery task). Relaxation task suppressed both MEPs and F waves. Motor imagery reduced this suppression, restoring F waves nearly completely (94%) and MEPs only partially (77%). Hence, the rest-induced decline of MEPs in part results from cortical modulation. In contrast, statistical analysis revealed no differences in imagery-induced recovery of motoneuron excitabilities whether assessed by F wave or MEP. Thus, increased excitability of spinal motoneurons responsible for F-wave changes also accounts for recovery of MEPs. Volitional relaxation depresses the spinal and cortical motoneurons, whereas mental simulation counters rest-induced suppression primarily by restoring spinal excitability. The present findings help elucidate physiologic mechanisms underlying motor imagery. Copyright © 2010 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. All rights reserved.

  2. Diabetic Ketoacidosis in an Adult Patient With Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type II: Further Evidence of Extraneural Pathology Due to Survival Motor Neuron 1 Mutation?

    PubMed

    Lamarca, Nicole Holuba; Golden, Lauren; John, Rita Marie; Naini, Ali; Vivo, Darryl C De; Sproule, Douglas M

    2013-11-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease caused by homozygous mutation to the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. Historically, spinal muscular atrophy has been considered to almost exclusively affect the function and survival of alpha motor neurons of the spinal cord and brainstem. With the development of animal models of spinal muscular atrophy, the presence of widespread systemic abnormalities affecting the brain, heart, and pancreas has been repeatedly noted among animals with diminished survival motor neuron protein expression. While these observations suggest similar possible effects in humans, reports of primary systemic disease manifestations among humans affected by spinal muscular atrophy are strikingly lacking. Here we report a case of a 29-year-old man with genetically confirmed spinal muscular atrophy type II who presented with new onset diabetes mellitus and diabetic ketoacidosis.

  3. Motor Alterations Induced by Chronic 4-Aminopyridine Infusion in the Spinal Cord In vivo: Role of Glutamate and GABA Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Lazo-Gómez, Rafael; Tapia, Ricardo

    2016-01-01

    Motor neuron (MN) degeneration is the pathological hallmark of MN diseases, a group of neurodegenerative disorders clinically manifested as muscle fasciculations and hyperreflexia, followed by paralysis, respiratory failure, and death. Ample evidence supports a role of glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity in motor death. In previous work we showed that stimulation of glutamate release from nerve endings by perfusion of the K+-channel blocker 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) in the rat hippocampus induces seizures and neurodegeneration, and that AMPA infusion in the spinal cord produces paralysis and MN death. On these bases, in this work we have tested the effect of the chronic infusion of 4-AP in the spinal cord, using implanted osmotic minipumps, on motor activity and on MN survival, and the mechanisms underlying this effect. 4-AP produced muscle fasciculations and motor deficits assessed in two motor tests, which start 2–3 h after the implant, which ameliorated spontaneously within 6–7 days, but no neurodegeneration. These effects were prevented by both AMPA and NMDA receptors blockers. The role of GABAA receptors was also explored, and we found that chronic infusion of bicuculline induced moderate MN degeneration and enhanced the hyperexcitation produced by 4-AP. Unexpectedly, the GABAAR agonist muscimol also induced motor deficits and failed to prevent the MN death induced by AMPA. We conclude that motor alterations induced by chronic 4-AP infusion in the spinal cord in vivo is due to ionotropic glutamate receptor overactivation and that blockade of GABAergic neurotransmission induces MN death under chronic conditions. These results shed light on the role of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in the regulation of MN excitability in the spinal cord. PMID:27242406

  4. Different phase delays of peripheral input to primate motor cortex and spinal cord promote cancellation at physiological tremor frequencies

    PubMed Central

    Koželj, Saša

    2014-01-01

    Neurons in the spinal cord and motor cortex (M1) are partially phase-locked to cycles of physiological tremor, but with opposite phases. Convergence of spinal and cortical activity onto motoneurons may thus produce phase cancellation and a reduction in tremor amplitude. The mechanisms underlying this phase difference are unknown. We investigated coherence between spinal and M1 activity with sensory input. In two anesthetized monkeys, we electrically stimulated the medial, ulnar, deep radial, and superficial radial nerves; stimuli were timed as independent Poisson processes (rate 10 Hz). Single units were recorded from M1 (147 cells) or cervical spinal cord (61 cells). Ninety M1 cells were antidromically identified as pyramidal tract neurons (PTNs); M1 neurons were additionally classified according to M1 subdivision (rostral/caudal, M1r/c). Spike-stimulus coherence analysis revealed significant coupling over a broad range of frequencies, with the strongest coherence at <50 Hz. Delays implied by the slope of the coherence phase-frequency relationship were greater than the response onset latency, reflecting the importance of late response components for the transmission of oscillatory inputs. The spike-stimulus coherence phase over the 6–13 Hz physiological tremor band differed significantly between M1 and spinal cells (phase differences relative to the cord of 2.72 ± 0.29 and 1.72 ± 0.37 radians for PTNs from M1c and M1r, respectively). We conclude that different phases of the response to peripheral input could partially underlie antiphase M1 and spinal cord activity during motor behavior. The coordinated action of spinal and cortical feedback will act to reduce tremulous oscillations, possibly improving the overall stability and precision of motor control. PMID:24572094

  5. Collateral development and spinal motor reorganization after nerve injury and repair.

    PubMed

    Yu, Youlai; Zhang, Peixun; Han, Na; Kou, Yuhui; Yin, Xiaofeng; Jiang, Baoguo

    2016-01-01

    Functional recovery is often unsatisfactory after severe extended nerve defects or proximal nerve trunks injuries repaired by traditional repair methods, as the long regeneration distance for the regenerated axons to reinnervate their original target end-organs. The proximal nerve stump can regenerate with many collaterals that reinnervate the distal stump after peripheral nerve injury, it may be possible to use nearby fewer nerve fibers to repair more nerve fibers at the distal end to shorten the regenerating distance. In this study, the proximal peroneal nerve was used to repair both the distal peroneal and tibial nerve. The number and location of motor neurons in spinal cord as well as functional and morphological recovery were assessed at 2 months, 4 months and 8 months after nerve repair, respectively. Projections from the intact peroneal and tibial nerves were also studied in normal animals. The changes of motor neurons were assessed using the retrograde neurotracers FG and DiI to backlabel motor neurons that regenerate axons into two different pathways. To evaluate the functional recovery, the muscle forces and sciatic function index were examined. The muscles and myelinated axons were assessed using electrophysiology and histology. The results showed that all labeled motor neurons after nerve repair were always confined within the normal peroneal nerve pool and nearly all the distribution of motor neurons labeled via distal different nerves was disorganized as compared to normal group. However, there was a significant decline in the number of double labeled motor neurons and an obvious improvement with respect to the functional and morphological recovery between 2 and 8 months. In addition, the tibial/peroneal motor neuron number ratio at different times was 2.11±0.05, 2.13±0.08, 2.09±0.12, respectively, and was close to normal group (2.21±0.09). Quantitative analysis showed no significant morphological differences between myelinated nerve fibers

  6. Collateral development and spinal motor reorganization after nerve injury and repair

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Youlai; Zhang, Peixun; Han, Na; Kou, Yuhui; Yin, Xiaofeng; Jiang, Baoguo

    2016-01-01

    Functional recovery is often unsatisfactory after severe extended nerve defects or proximal nerve trunks injuries repaired by traditional repair methods, as the long regeneration distance for the regenerated axons to reinnervate their original target end-organs. The proximal nerve stump can regenerate with many collaterals that reinnervate the distal stump after peripheral nerve injury, it may be possible to use nearby fewer nerve fibers to repair more nerve fibers at the distal end to shorten the regenerating distance. In this study, the proximal peroneal nerve was used to repair both the distal peroneal and tibial nerve. The number and location of motor neurons in spinal cord as well as functional and morphological recovery were assessed at 2 months, 4 months and 8 months after nerve repair, respectively. Projections from the intact peroneal and tibial nerves were also studied in normal animals. The changes of motor neurons were assessed using the retrograde neurotracers FG and DiI to backlabel motor neurons that regenerate axons into two different pathways. To evaluate the functional recovery, the muscle forces and sciatic function index were examined. The muscles and myelinated axons were assessed using electrophysiology and histology. The results showed that all labeled motor neurons after nerve repair were always confined within the normal peroneal nerve pool and nearly all the distribution of motor neurons labeled via distal different nerves was disorganized as compared to normal group. However, there was a significant decline in the number of double labeled motor neurons and an obvious improvement with respect to the functional and morphological recovery between 2 and 8 months. In addition, the tibial/peroneal motor neuron number ratio at different times was 2.11±0.05, 2.13±0.08, 2.09±0.12, respectively, and was close to normal group (2.21±0.09). Quantitative analysis showed no significant morphological differences between myelinated nerve fibers

  7. Comparison of spinal stability following motor control and general exercises in nonspecific chronic low back pain patients.

    PubMed

    Shamsi, MohammadBagher; Sarrafzadeh, Javad; Jamshidi, Aliashraf; Arjmand, Navid; Ghezelbash, Farshid

    2017-10-01

    Motor control exercise was claimed to improve spinal stability in patients with chronic non-specific back pain, but to investigate the effectiveness of this exercise, other outcome measures have been used rather than spinal stability itself. The aim of our study is to assess motor control exercise effects on spinal stability using a biomechanical model. Fifty-one patients were assigned to either motor control or general exercises. Before and after trainings, participants were tested for spinal stability at seven isometric tasks. Electromyography signals were recorded from ten superficial muscles, and a hybrid EMG-driven musculoskeletal model estimated spinal stability indices at each task. Pain and disability significantly decreased in both groups. After trainings, patients had both increase and decrease in stability depending on the task, and stability did not increase/decrease uniformly in all patients. In the motor control group, stability increased at all positions but reached to significance only at right lateral pulling. In the general exercise group, except for pulling the trunk backward, stability decreased at other positions and reached to statistical significance only at pulling the trunk forward. No significant difference between groups was found in changing stability after the intervention. Interventions yielded no significant difference in disability, pain and stability index between two groups. Significant increase of stability in the motor control group at right lateral pulling may be attributed to more activity of abdominal muscles, and significant decrease of stability in the general exercise group at forward pulling may be attributed to more optimal activity of back muscles. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Fatigue-induced motor cortex excitability changes in subjects with spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Nardone, Raffaele; Höller, Yvonne; Brigo, Francesco; Höller, Peter; Christova, Monica; Tezzon, Frediano; Golaszewski, Stefan; Trinka, Eugen

    2013-10-01

    To further investigate the mechanisms of exercise-induced cortical plasticity after spinal cord injury (SCI), the cortical silent period (CoSP) evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) during a fatiguing muscle contraction was evaluated in 5 patients with incomplete cervical SCI and in 5 healthy subjects. The physiological lengthening of CoSP end latency during fatigue was not observed in the SCI patients. This reduced intracortical inhibition, probably secondary to decreased activity of the GABAergic inhibitory interneurons that modulate the corticomotoneuronal output, could represent a 'positive' neuroplastic response in an attempt to compensate for the loss of corticospinal axons. The investigation of motor cortex excitability during fatiguing exercise may shed light on the role of exercise therapy in promoting brain reorganization and functional recovery in humans.

  9. Deletions of the survival motor neuron gene in unaffected siblings of patients with spinal muscular atrophy

    SciTech Connect

    Cobben, J.M.; Steege, G. van der; Grootscholten, P.

    1995-10-01

    DNA studies in 103 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patients from The Netherlands revealed homozygosity for a survival motor neuron (SMN) deletion in 96 (93%) of 103. Neuronal apoptosis inhibitory protein deletions were found in 38 (37%) of 103 and occurred most frequently in SMA type 1. SMN deletions have not yet been described to occur in healthy subjects. In this study, however, four unaffected sibs from two SMA families showed homozygosity for SMN deletions. Homozygosity for an SMN deletion in unaffected persons seems to be very rare. Therefore, demonstration of a homozygous SMN deletion in a clinically presumed SMA patient should be considered as a confirmation of the diagnosis, whether or not SMN is in fact the causal gene for SMA. 19 refs., 2 figs.

  10. Fictive rhythmic motor patterns produced by the tail spinal cord in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Charrier, V; Cabelguen, J-M

    2013-01-01

    Most investigations into the role of the body axis in vertebrate locomotion have focused on the trunk, although in most tetrapods, the tail also plays an active role. In salamanders, the tail contributes to propulsion during swimming and to dynamic balance and maneuverability during terrestrial locomotion. The aim of the present study was to obtain information concerning the neural mechanisms that produce tail muscle contractions during locomotion in the salamander Pleurodeles waltlii. We recorded the ventral root activities in in vitro spinal cord preparations in which locomotor-like activity was induced via bath application of N-methyl-d-aspartate (20μM) and d-serine (10μM). Recordings showed that the tail spinal cord is capable of producing propagated waves of motor activity that alternate between the left and right sides. Lesion experiments further revealed that the tail rhythmogenic network is composed of a double chain of identical hemisegmental oscillators. Finally, using spinal cord preparations bathed in a chamber partitioned into two pools, we revealed efficient short-distance coupling between the trunk and tail networks. Together, our results demonstrate the existence of a pattern generator for rhythmic tail movements in the salamander and show that the global architecture of the tail network is similar to that previously proposed for the mid-trunk locomotor network in the salamander. Our findings further support the view that salamanders can control their trunk and tail independently during stepping movements. The relevance of our results in relation to the generation of tail muscle contractions in freely moving salamanders is discussed.

  11. Chronic uranium contamination alters spinal motor neuron integrity via modulation of SMN1 expression and microglia recruitment.

    PubMed

    Saint-Marc, Brice; Elie, Christelle; Manens, Line; Tack, Karine; Benderitter, Marc; Gueguen, Yann; Ibanez, Chrystelle

    2016-07-08

    Consequences of uranium contamination have been extensively studied in brain as cognitive function impairments were observed in rodents. Locomotor disturbances have also been described in contaminated animals. Epidemiological studies have revealed increased risk of motor neuron diseases in veterans potentially exposed to uranium during their military duties. To our knowledge, biological response of spinal cord to uranium contamination has not been studied even though it has a crucial role in locomotion. Four groups of rats were contaminated with increasing concentrations of uranium in their drinking water compared to a control group to study cellular mechanisms involved in locomotor disorders. Nissl staining of spinal cord sections revealed the presence of chromatolytic neurons in the ventral horn. This observation was correlated with a decreased number of motor neurons in the highly contaminated group and a decrease of SMN1 protein expression (Survival of Motor Neuron 1). While contamination impairs motor neuron integrity, an increasing number of microglial cells indicates the trigger of a neuroinflammation process. Potential overexpression of a microglial recruitment chemokine, MCP-1 (Monocyte Chimioattractant Protein 1), by motor neurons themselves could mediate this process. Studies on spinal cord appear to be relevant for risk assessment of population exposed via contaminated food and water.

  12. Brain motor control assessment of upper limb function in patients with spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Zoghi, Maryam; Galea, Mary; Morgan, David

    2016-01-01

    Background The brain motor control assessment (BMCA) for the upper limb has been developed to add resolution to the clinical evaluation in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). BMCA is a surface electromyography (sEMG)-based measure of motor output from the central nervous system during a variety of reflex and voluntary motor tasks performed under strictly controlled conditions. Method Nine participants were recruited and assessed four times over a period of 1 year in a prospective cohort study design. The sEMG of 15 muscles (7 muscles from each upper limb and rectus abdominis) were recorded throughout the following stages of the BMCA protocol: (i) relaxation, (ii) reinforcement maneuvers, (iii) voluntary tasks, (iv) tendon-tap reflex responses, (v) vibration responses. Results Similarity index (SI) values were significantly lower in the SCI group for unilateral shoulder abduction (P = 0.006) and adduction (P = 0.021), elbow extension (P = 0.038), wrist flexion/extension with palm up (P < 0.001; P < 0.001) and wrist flexion with palm down (P = 0.016). sEMG magnitudes were also significantly lower in the SCI group for wrist flexion/extension with palm up (P < 0.001; P = 0.042). SI changes over time were significant for tasks related to wrist joint (P = 0.002). Conclusion Clinicians who are involved in rehabilitation of patients with SCI can use the BMCA to assess their patients’ motor control abilities and monitor their progression throughout their rehabilitation process. The results of this type of neurophysiological assessment might be useful to tailor therapeutic strategies for each patient. PMID:25582333

  13. Brain motor control assessment of upper limb function in patients with spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Zoghi, Maryam; Galea, Mary; Morgan, David

    2016-01-01

    The brain motor control assessment (BMCA) for the upper limb has been developed to add resolution to the clinical evaluation in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). BMCA is a surface electromyography (sEMG)-based measure of motor output from the central nervous system during a variety of reflex and voluntary motor tasks performed under strictly controlled conditions. Nine participants were recruited and assessed four times over a period of 1 year in a prospective cohort study design. The sEMG of 15 muscles (7 muscles from each upper limb and rectus abdominis) were recorded throughout the following stages of the BMCA protocol: (i) relaxation, (ii) reinforcement maneuvers, (iii) voluntary tasks, (iv) tendon-tap reflex responses, (v) vibration responses. Similarity index (SI) values were significantly lower in the SCI group for unilateral shoulder abduction (P = 0.006) and adduction (P = 0.021), elbow extension (P = 0.038), wrist flexion/extension with palm up (P < 0.001; P < 0.001) and wrist flexion with palm down (P = 0.016). sEMG magnitudes were also significantly lower in the SCI group for wrist flexion/extension with palm up (P < 0.001; P = 0.042). SI changes over time were significant for tasks related to wrist joint (P = 0.002). Clinicians who are involved in rehabilitation of patients with SCI can use the BMCA to assess their patients' motor control abilities and monitor their progression throughout their rehabilitation process. The results of this type of neurophysiological assessment might be useful to tailor therapeutic strategies for each patient.

  14. Mechanisms and Mitigation of Head and Spinal Injuries Due to Motor Vehicle Crashes.

    PubMed

    Ivancic, Paul C

    2016-10-01

    Synopsis Head and spinal injuries commonly occur during motor vehicle crashes (MVCs). The goal of this clinical commentary is to discuss real-life versus simulated MVCs and to present clinical, biomechanical, and epidemiological evidence of MVC-related injury mechanisms. It will also address how this knowledge may guide and inform the design of injury mitigation devices and assist in clinical decision making. Evidence indicates that there exists no universal injury tolerance applicable to the entire population of the occupants of MVCs. Injuries sustained by occupants depend on a number of factors, including occupant characteristics (age, height, weight, sex, bone mineral density, and pre-existing medical and musculoskeletal conditions), pre-MVC factors (awareness of the impending crash, occupant position, usage of and position of the seatbelt and head restraint, and vehicle specifications), and MVC-related factors (crash orientation, vehicle dynamics, type of active or passive safety systems, and occupant kinematic response). Injuries resulting from an MVC occur due to blunt impact and/or inertial loading. An S-shaped curvature of the cervical spine and associated injurious strains have been documented during rear-, frontal-, and side-impact MVCs. Data on the injury mechanism and the quantification of spinal instability guide and inform the emergent and subsequent conservative or surgical care. Such care may require determining optimal patient positioning during transport, which injuries may be treated conservatively, whether reduction should be performed, optimal patient positioning intraoperatively, and whether bracing should be worn prior to and/or following surgery. The continued improvement of traditional injury mitigation systems, such as seats, seatbelts, airbags, and head restraints, together with research of newer collision-avoidance technologies, will lead to safer motor vehicles and ultimately more effective injury management strategies. J Orthop Sports

  15. A modern neuroscience approach to chronic spinal pain: combining pain neuroscience education with cognition-targeted motor control training.

    PubMed

    Nijs, Jo; Meeus, Mira; Cagnie, Barbara; Roussel, Nathalie A; Dolphens, Mieke; Van Oosterwijck, Jessica; Danneels, Lieven

    2014-05-01

    Chronic spinal pain (CSP) is a severely disabling disorder, including nontraumatic chronic low back and neck pain, failed back surgery, and chronic whiplash-associated disorders. Much of the current therapy is focused on input mechanisms (treating peripheral elements such as muscles and joints) and output mechanisms (addressing motor control), while there is less attention to processing (central) mechanisms. In addition to the compelling evidence for impaired motor control of spinal muscles in patients with CSP, there is increasing evidence that central mechanisms (ie, hyperexcitability of the central nervous system and brain abnormalities) play a role in CSP. Hence, treatments for CSP should address not only peripheral dysfunctions but also the brain. Therefore, a modern neuroscience approach, comprising therapeutic pain neuroscience education followed by cognition-targeted motor control training, is proposed. This perspective article explains why and how such an approach to CSP can be applied in physical therapist practice.

  16. Trunk Robot Rehabilitation Training with Active Stepping Reorganizes and Enriches Trunk Motor Cortex Representations in Spinal Transected Rats

    PubMed Central

    Oza, Chintan S.

    2015-01-01

    Trunk motor control is crucial for postural stability and propulsion after low thoracic spinal cord injury (SCI) in animals and humans. Robotic rehabilitation aimed at trunk shows promise in SCI animal models and patients. However, little is known about the effect of SCI and robot rehabilitation of trunk on cortical motor representations. We previously showed reorganization of trunk motor cortex after adult SCI. Non-stepping training also exacerbated some SCI-driven plastic changes. Here we examine effects of robot rehabilitation that promotes recovery of hindlimb weight support functions on trunk motor cortex representations. Adult rats spinal transected as neonates (NTX rats) at the T9/10 level significantly improve function with our robot rehabilitation paradigm, whereas treadmill-only trained do not. We used intracortical microstimulation to map motor cortex in two NTX groups: (1) treadmill trained (control group); and (2) robot-assisted treadmill trained (improved function group). We found significant robot rehabilitation-driven changes in motor cortex: (1) caudal trunk motor areas expanded; (2) trunk coactivation at cortex sites increased; (3) richness of trunk cortex motor representations, as examined by cumulative entropy and mutual information for different trunk representations, increased; (4) trunk motor representations in the cortex moved toward more normal topography; and (5) trunk and forelimb motor representations that SCI-driven plasticity and compensations had caused to overlap were segregated. We conclude that effective robot rehabilitation training induces significant reorganization of trunk motor cortex and partially reverses some plastic changes that may be adaptive in non-stepping paraplegia after SCI. PMID:25948267

  17. Trunk robot rehabilitation training with active stepping reorganizes and enriches trunk motor cortex representations in spinal transected rats.

    PubMed

    Oza, Chintan S; Giszter, Simon F

    2015-05-06

    Trunk motor control is crucial for postural stability and propulsion after low thoracic spinal cord injury (SCI) in animals and humans. Robotic rehabilitation aimed at trunk shows promise in SCI animal models and patients. However, little is known about the effect of SCI and robot rehabilitation of trunk on cortical motor representations. We previously showed reorganization of trunk motor cortex after adult SCI. Non-stepping training also exacerbated some SCI-driven plastic changes. Here we examine effects of robot rehabilitation that promotes recovery of hindlimb weight support functions on trunk motor cortex representations. Adult rats spinal transected as neonates (NTX rats) at the T9/10 level significantly improve function with our robot rehabilitation paradigm, whereas treadmill-only trained do not. We used intracortical microstimulation to map motor cortex in two NTX groups: (1) treadmill trained (control group); and (2) robot-assisted treadmill trained (improved function group). We found significant robot rehabilitation-driven changes in motor cortex: (1) caudal trunk motor areas expanded; (2) trunk coactivation at cortex sites increased; (3) richness of trunk cortex motor representations, as examined by cumulative entropy and mutual information for different trunk representations, increased; (4) trunk motor representations in the cortex moved toward more normal topography; and (5) trunk and forelimb motor representations that SCI-driven plasticity and compensations had caused to overlap were segregated. We conclude that effective robot rehabilitation training induces significant reorganization of trunk motor cortex and partially reverses some plastic changes that may be adaptive in non-stepping paraplegia after SCI.

  18. Specific induction of PAG608 in cranial and spinal motor neurons of L-DOPA-treated parkinsonian rats.

    PubMed

    Shimizu, Masako; Miyazaki, Ikuko; Higashi, Youichirou; Eslava-Alva, Maria J; Diaz-Corrales, Francisco J; Asanuma, Masato; Ogawa, Norio

    2008-04-01

    We identified p53-activated gene 608 (PAG608) as a specifically induced gene in striatal tissue of L-DOPA (100mg/kg)-injected hemi-parkinsonian rats using differential display assay. In the present study, we further examined morphological distribution of PAG608 in the central nervous system of L-DOPA-treated hemi-parkinsonian rats. PAG608 expression was markedly induced in fibers and neuronal cells of the lateral globus pallidus and reticular thalamic nucleus adjacent to internal capsule, specifically in the parkinsonian side of L-DOPA-treated models. The protein was also constitutively expressed in motor neurons specifically in either side of the pontine nucleus and motor nuclei of trigeminal and facial nerves. Furthermore, L-DOPA-induced PAG608 expression on motor neurons in the contralateral side of the ventral horn of the spinal cord and the lateral corticospinal tract without cell loss. The specific induction of PAG608 6-48h after L-DOPA injection in the extrapyramidal tracts, pyramidal tracts and corresponding lower motor neurons of the spinal cords suggests its involvement in molecular events in stimulated motor neurons. Taken together with the constitutive expression of PAG608 in the motor nuclei of cranial nerves, PAG608 may be a useful marker of stressed or activated lower motor neurons.

  19. Motor unit loss estimation by the multipoint incremental MUNE method in children with spinal muscular atrophy--a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Gawel, Malgorzata; Kostera-Pruszczyk, Anna; Lusakowska, Anna; Jedrzejowska, Maria; Ryniewicz, Barbara; Lipowska, Marta; Gawel, Damian; Kaminska, Anna

    2015-03-01

    Quantitative EMG reflects denervation of muscles after lower motor neuron degeneration in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) but does not reflect actual motor unit loss. The aim of our study was to assess the value of the multipoint incremental motor unit number estimation (MUNE) method in the modification by Shefner in estimating motor unit loss in SMA. The number of motor units, the mean amplitude of an average surface-detected single motor unit potential (SMUP), and the amplitude of compound motor action potentials (CMAP) were estimated in 14 children with SMA in the abductor pollicis brevis (ABP). Significant differences in MUNE values and SMUP and CMAP amplitude were found between the SMA and control groups (P < 0.0001). MUNE values correlated with Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale (HFMS) scores (P < 0.05). Increased SMUP amplitude values correlated with decreased HFMS scores (P < 0.05). The study confirms that MUNE method in the modification by Shefner is a useful tool reflecting motor unit loss in SMA, and it is easy to perform and well tolerated. MUNE and SMUP amplitude seemed to be sensitive parameters reflecting motor dysfunction in SMA but a longitudinal study in a larger number of subjects is needed.

  20. Motor function and survival following radiotherapy alone for metastatic epidural spinal cord compression in melanoma patients.

    PubMed

    Huttenlocher, Stefan; Sehmisch, Lena; Rudat, Volker; Rades, Dirk

    2014-12-01

    The major goal of this study was the identification of predictors for motor function and survival after irradiation alone for metastatic epidural spinal cord compression (MESCC) from melanoma. Ten variables (age, gender, performance status, number of involved vertebrae, pre-radiotherapy ambulatory status, further bone metastases, visceral metastases, interval from melanoma diagnosis to MESCC, time developing motor deficits before radiotherapy, fractionation regimen) were investigated for post-radiotherapy motor function, ambulatory status and survival in 27 patients. On multivariate analysis, motor function was significantly associated with time developing motor deficits (P = 0.006). On univariate analysis, post-radiotherapy ambulatory rates were associated with pre-radiotherapy ambulatory status (P < 0.001) and performance status (P = 0.046). Variables having a significant impact on survival in the univariate analysis were performance status (P < 0.001), number of involved vertebrae (P = 0.007), pre-radiotherapy ambulatory status (P = 0.020), further bone metastases (P = 0.023), visceral metastases (P < 0.001), and time developing motor deficits (P = 0.038). On multivariate analysis of survival, the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (risk ratio [RR] = 4.35; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.04-16.67; P = 0.044) and visceral metastases (RR = 3.70; 95% CI = 1.10-12.50; P = 0.034) remained significant and were included in a survival score. Scoring points were obtained from 6-month survival rates divided by 10. Total scores represented the sum scores of both variables and were 3, 9 or 15 points. Six-month survival rates were 7%, 29% and 100% (P = 0.004). Thus, three predictors for functional outcomes were identified. The newly developed survival score included three prognostic groups. Patients with 3 points may receive 1 × 8 Gy, patients with 9 points 5 × 4 Gy and patients achieving 15 points longer

  1. Motor neuron cell-nonautonomous rescue of spinal muscular atrophy phenotypes in mild and severe transgenic mouse models

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ying Hsiu; Sahashi, Kentaro; Rigo, Frank; Bennett, C. Frank

    2015-01-01

    Survival of motor neuron (SMN) deficiency causes spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), but the pathogenesis mechanisms remain elusive. Restoring SMN in motor neurons only partially rescues SMA in mouse models, although it is thought to be therapeutically essential. Here, we address the relative importance of SMN restoration in the central nervous system (CNS) versus peripheral tissues in mouse models using a therapeutic splice-switching antisense oligonucleotide to restore SMN and a complementary decoy oligonucleotide to neutralize its effects in the CNS. Increasing SMN exclusively in peripheral tissues completely rescued necrosis in mild SMA mice and robustly extended survival in severe SMA mice, with significant improvements in vulnerable tissues and motor function. Our data demonstrate a critical role of peripheral pathology in the mortality of SMA mice and indicate that peripheral SMN restoration compensates for its deficiency in the CNS and preserves motor neurons. Thus, SMA is not a cell-autonomous defect of motor neurons in SMA mice. PMID:25583329

  2. Functional responses in the human spinal cord during willed motor actions: evidence for side- and rate-dependent activity.

    PubMed

    Maieron, Marta; Iannetti, Gian Domenico; Bodurka, Jerzy; Tracey, Irene; Bandettini, Peter A; Porro, Carlo A

    2007-04-11

    Although the spinal cord is the output station of the central motor system, little is known about the relationships between its functional activity and willed movement parameters in humans. We investigated here blood oxygenation level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signal changes in the cervical spinal cord during a simple finger-to-thumb opposition task in 13 right-handed volunteers, using a dedicated array of 16 receive-only surface coils on a 3 Tesla MRI system. In a first experiment, we found significant fMRI signal increases on both sides of the lower cervical spinal cord while subjects performed the motor task at a comfortable pace (approximately 0.5 Hz) using either hand. Both the spatial extent of movement-related clusters and peak signal increases were significantly higher on the side of the cord ipsilateral to the moving hand than on the contralateral side. Movement-related activity was consistently larger than signal fluctuations during rest. In a second experiment, we recorded spinal cord responses while the same motor sequence was performed using the dominant hand at two different rates (approximately 0.5 or 1 Hz). The intensity but not the spatial extent of the response was larger during higher rates, and it was higher on the ipsilateral side of the cord. Notwithstanding the limited spatial resolving power of the adopted technique, the present results clearly indicate that the finger movement-related fMRI signals recorded from the spinal cord have a neural origin and that as a result of recent technological advances, fMRI can be used to obtain novel and quantitative physiological information on the activity of spinal circuits.

  3. Motor imagery reinforces brain compensation of reach-to-grasp movement after cervical spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Mateo, Sébastien; Di Rienzo, Franck; Bergeron, Vance; Guillot, Aymeric; Collet, Christian; Rode, Gilles

    2015-01-01

    Individuals with cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) that causes tetraplegia are challenged with dramatic sensorimotor deficits. However, certain rehabilitation techniques may significantly enhance their autonomy by restoring reach-to-grasp movements. Among others, evidence of motor imagery (MI) benefits for neurological rehabilitation of upper limb movements is growing. This literature review addresses MI effectiveness during reach-to-grasp rehabilitation after tetraplegia. Among articles from MEDLINE published between 1966 and 2015, we selected ten studies including 34 participants with C4 to C7 tetraplegia and 22 healthy controls published during the last 15 years. We found that MI of possible non-paralyzed movements improved reach-to-grasp performance by: (i) increasing both tenodesis grasp capabilities and muscle strength; (ii) decreasing movement time (MT), and trajectory variability; and (iii) reducing the abnormally increased brain activity. MI can also strengthen motor commands by potentiating recruitment and synchronization of motoneurons, which leads to improved recovery. These improvements reflect brain adaptations induced by MI. Furthermore, MI can be used to control brain-computer interfaces (BCI) that successfully restore grasp capabilities. These results highlight the growing interest for MI and its potential to recover functional grasping in individuals with tetraplegia, and motivate the need for further studies to substantiate it. PMID:26441568

  4. Influence of Previous Comorbidities and Common Complications on Motor Function after Early Surgical Treatment of Patients with Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury.

    PubMed

    Kreinest, Michael; Ludes, Lisa; Biglari, Bahram; Küffer, Maike; Türk, Ansgar; Grützner, Paul A; Matschke, Stefan

    2016-12-15

    The influence of complications and comorbidities on the outcome of patients with traumatic spinal cord injury after early surgery is unclear. The aim of the current study was to analyze the influence of previous comorbidities and common complications on motor function outcome of patients with traumatic spinal cord injury if early surgery was performed. All patients with a traumatic spinal cord injury who were initially surgically treated in our hospital in the period from January 2008 to December 2013 were included in this study. Epidemiological data and previous comorbidities (cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, spinal) were documented. A neurological assessment was performed using the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) score. Retrospectively, patients' personal data (age, gender, comorbidities) and clinical data (complications, ASIA score, motor function) were analyzed statistically. A total of 133 patients met the inclusion criteria. The level of spinal cord injury ranged from C3 to L4. Motor function was improved from 51.5 ± 24.8 to 60.1 ± 25.0 (improvement: 25.7%). The most common complications were urinary tract infection and pneumonia. There is a significant relationship between a lack of previous spinal comorbidities and a better outcome in terms of motor function. No other comorbidities or complications showed any effect on motor function outcome. The current study shows that motor function was able to be improved in patients who were given early surgery after a traumatic spinal cord injury. Common complications as well as previous cardiovascular, pulmonary, and metabolic comorbidities do not impair motor function outcome. The final motor function score is reduced if patients have previous spinal comorbidities.

  5. Continuous distraction-induced delayed spinal cord injury on motor-evoked potentials and histological changes of spinal cord in a porcine model.

    PubMed

    Hong, J-Y; Suh, S-W; Lee, S-H; Park, J-H; Park, S-Y; Rhyu, I J; Yang, J-H

    2016-09-01

    Experimental study. This study evaluated distraction-induced delayed spinal cord injury in a porcine model. Department of Orthopedics, Korea University Guro Hospital, Seoul, Korea. Global osteotomy of three columns was performed on the thirteenth thoracic vertebrae with 13 pigs. The osteotomized vertebrae were distracted to 57-103% of segmental vertebral height (SVH) length, which was less than the distraction length that induces prompt SCI. The vertebral height was maintained until the loss of motor-evoked potential (MEP) signals with continuous distraction. The distraction distance and the time at which SCI occurred were measured, and distraction was then released to observe MEP recovery patterns. We found delayed SCI in 8 of the 12 pigs, with a mean 20.9 mm (range 19-25 mm) and 10.7 min (range 8-12 min) of continuous spinal distraction, which was equivalent to 74.3% (68-84%) of SVH and 3.63% (3.42-4.31%) of thoracolumbar spinal length. A continuous 74.3% SVH distraction over an average of 10.7 min caused a delayed SCI, which was indicated by mild histologic changes in the spinal cord. Recovery patterns from SCI after distraction release were compatible with the degree of histological change; however, these patterns differed from the previously investigated prompt type of SCI. Late onset injury due to continuous spinal distraction, which is comparable to iatrogenic SCI in spinal correction surgery, is important for understanding the impact of corrective surgery.

  6. Anatomical basis of specific connections between sensory axons and motor neurons in the brachial spinal cord of the bullfrog.

    PubMed

    Lichtman, J W; Jhaveri, S; Frank, E

    1984-07-01

    The anatomical basis for the specificity of the monosynaptic stretch reflex has been studied in the brachial spinal cord of bullfrogs. Sensory axons from the triceps brachii muscle innervate the corresponding triceps motoneurons but do not innervate two types of unrelated motoneurons (subscapularis and pectoralis) (Lichtman, J.W., and E. Frank (1984) J. Neurosci. 4: 1745-1753). Retrograde labeling of these three types of motoneurons with horseradish peroxidase (HRP) demonstrated that their cell bodies had overlapping distributions in the lateral motor column, and their dendrites all occupied the same region of the dorsal horn. In addition, triceps sensory axons aborized extensively in the dorsal horn throughout the brachial spinal cord, with no obvious predilection for the region of the triceps motoneurons. Thus, the physiological specificity of these sensory-motor connections was not apparent from the anatomical location of the sensory or motor neurons. However, by injecting single pairs of related or unrelated sensory and motor cells with HRP, we found that related pairs formed anatomical contacts with each other more frequently than unrelated sensory-motor pairs did. These observations suggest that the specificity of these connections is most likely the result of local interactions between sensory and motor processes.

  7. Small Molecule Suppressors of Drosophila Kinesin Deficiency Rescue Motor Axon Development in a Zebrafish Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Gassman, Andrew; Hao, Le T.; Bhoite, Leena; Bradford, Chad L.; Chien, Chi-Bin; Beattie, Christine E.; Manfredi, John P.

    2013-01-01

    Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the most common inherited motor neuropathy and the leading hereditary cause of infant mortality. Currently there is no effective treatment for the disease, reflecting a need for pharmacologic interventions that restore performance of dysfunctional motor neurons or suppress the consequences of their dysfunction. In a series of assays relevant to motor neuron biology, we explored the activities of a collection of tetrahydroindoles that were reported to alter the metabolism of amyloid precursor protein (APP). In Drosophila larvae the compounds suppressed aberrant larval locomotion due to mutations in the Khc and Klc genes, which respectively encode the heavy and light chains of kinesin-1. A representative compound of this class also suppressed the appearance of axonal swellings (alternatively termed axonal spheroids or neuritic beads) in the segmental nerves of the kinesin-deficient Drosophila larvae. Given the importance of kinesin-dependent transport for extension and maintenance of axons and their growth cones, three members of the class were tested for neurotrophic effects on isolated rat spinal motor neurons. Each compound stimulated neurite outgrowth. In addition, consistent with SMA being an axonopathy of motor neurons, the three axonotrophic compounds rescued motor axon development in a zebrafish model of SMA. The results introduce a collection of small molecules as pharmacologic suppressors of SMA-associated phenotypes and nominate specific members of the collection for development as candidate SMA therapeutics. More generally, the results reinforce the perception of SMA as an axonopathy and suggest novel approaches to treating the disease. PMID:24023935

  8. The cellular mRNA expression of GABA and glutamate receptors in spinal motor neurons of SOD1 mice.

    PubMed

    Petri, S; Schmalbach, S; Grosskreutz, J; Krampfl, K; Grothe, C; Dengler, R; Van Den Bosch, L; Robberecht, W; Bufler, J

    2005-11-15

    ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a selective loss of upper motor neurons in the motor cortex and lower motor neurons in the brain stem and spinal cord. About 10% of ALS cases are familial, in 10-20% of these, mutations in the gene coding for superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) can be detected. Overexpression of mutated SOD1 in mice created animal models which clinically resemble ALS. Abnormalities in glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission presumably contribute to the selective motor neuron damage in ALS. By in situ hybridization histochemistry (ISH), we investigated the spinal mRNA expression of the GABAA and AMPA type glutamate receptor subunits at different disease stages on spinal cord sections of mutant SOD1 mice and control animals overexpressing wild-type SOD1 aged 40, 80, 120 days and at disease end-stage, i.e. around 140 days) (n=5, respectively). We detected a slight but statistically significant decrease of the AMPA receptor subunits GluR3 and GluR4 only in end stage disease animals.

  9. Contact-mediated inhibition between oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and motor exit point glia establishes the spinal cord transition zone.

    PubMed

    Smith, Cody J; Morris, Angela D; Welsh, Taylor G; Kucenas, Sarah

    2014-09-01

    Rapid conduction of action potentials along motor axons requires that oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells myelinate distinct central and peripheral nervous system (CNS and PNS) domains along the same axon. Despite the importance of this arrangement for nervous system function, the mechanisms that establish and maintain this precise glial segregation at the motor exit point (MEP) transition zone are unknown. Using in vivo time-lapse imaging in zebrafish, we observed that prior to myelination, oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) extend processes into the periphery via the MEP and immediately upon contact with spinal motor root glia retract back into the spinal cord. Characterization of the peripheral cell responsible for repelling OPC processes revealed that it was a novel, CNS-derived population of glia we propose calling MEP glia. Ablation of MEP glia resulted in the absence of myelinating glia along spinal motor root axons and an immediate breach of the MEP by OPCs. Taken together, our results identify a novel population of CNS-derived peripheral glia located at the MEP that selectively restrict the migration of OPCs into the periphery via contact-mediated inhibition.

  10. Coordinated motor activity in simulated spinal networks emerges from simple biologically plausible rules of connectivity.

    PubMed

    Dale, Nicholas

    2003-01-01

    The spinal motor circuits of the Xenopus embryo have been simulated in a 400-neuron network. To explore the consequences of differing patterns of synaptic connectivity within the network for the generation of the motor rhythm, a system of biologically plausible rules was devised to control synapse formation by three parameters. Each neuron had an intrinsic probability of synapse formation (P(soma), specified by a space constant lambda) that was a monotonically decreasing function of its soma location in the rostro-caudal axis of the simulated network. The neurons had rostral and caudal going axons of specified length (L(axon)) associated with a probability of synapse formation (P(axon)). The final probability of synapse formation was the product of P(soma) and P(axon). Realistic coordinated activity only occurred when L(axon) and the probabilities of interconnection were sufficiently high. Increasing the values of the three network parameters reduced the burst duration, cycle period, and rostro-caudal delay and increased the reliability with which the network functioned as measured by the coefficient of variance of these parameters. Whereas both L(axon) and P(axon) had powerful and consistent effects on network output, the effects of lambda on burst duration and rostro-caudal delay were more variable and depended on the values of the other two parameters. This network model can reproduce the rostro-caudal coordination of swimming without using coupled oscillator theory. The changes in network connectivity and resulting changes in activity explored by the model mimic the development of the motor pattern for swimming in the real embryo.

  11. The development of hindlimb motor activity studied in the isolated spinal cord of the chick embryo.

    PubMed

    O'Donovan, M J; Landmesser, L

    1987-10-01

    The development of hindlimb motor activity was studied in an isolated preparation of the chick spinal cord. The motor output from lumbosacral segments was characterized by recording the pattern of ventral root and muscle nerve discharge in 6-14-d-old embryos. In addition, the synaptic drive underlying motoneuron activity was monitored electrotonically from the ventral roots. Spontaneous motor activity consisted of recurring episodes of cyclical motoneuron discharge. During development, both the number of cycles in each episode and the intensity of discharge in each cycle progressively increased. Monophasic, positive ventral root potentials accompanied each cycle of motoneuron discharge. Prior to the innervation of hindlimb muscles at stage 26, ventral root discharge was barely detectable despite the presence of large ventral root potentials. Following hindlimb muscle innervation, each cycle of activity was initiated by a brief, intense discharge that coincided with the rising phase of the ventral root potential. In embryos older than stage 30, the initial discharge was followed, after a delay, by a more prolonged discharge. The duration of ventral root potentials was shortest in the stage 26 embryos, but was similar in embryos at stage 29 and older. The developmental changes in the coordination of antagonist activity were documented by recording the pattern of discharge in sartorius (flexor) and caudilioflexorius (extensor) muscle nerves between stage 30 and stage 36. At stage 30 both sets of motoneurons were coactivated during the brief discharge that initiated each cycle. By stage 31 a second discharge occurred in each cycle. The second discharge was delayed in flexor, but not in extensor, motoneurons, which led to an alternating pattern of activity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  12. American Spinal Injury Association A (sensory and motor complete) is not different from American Spinal Injury Association B (sensory incomplete, motor complete) in gunshot-related spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    McCoy, Eric; Eftekhary, Nima; Nwosu, Kenneth; Fukunaga, Dudley; Liu, Charles; Rolfe, Kevin

    2017-07-10

    percentage requiring surgery, nor for thoracic A versus B. When grouped, there was a statistically higher occurrence of pressure ulcers in cervical A or B classification than in thoracic A or B classification, but a higher rate of surgery for thoracic A or B classification. Lumbosacral cauda equina levels were not statistically different in occurrence of pressure ulcers or pressureulcer surgery by ASIA grades A-D. Overall, when grouped C1-T12, cord-level cervicothoracic A and B classifications were statistically equivalent. C1-T12 cord level C or D classification with motor sparing had statistically lower occurrence and need of surgery for pressure ulcers and were equivalent to lumbosacral cauda equina level A-D. ASIA A and B distinctions are not meaningful at spinal cord levels in the cervicothoracic spine due to gunshot wounds as shown by similar occurrence of pressure ulcers and pressure ulcer surgery, and should be treated as if the same. Meaningful decrease of pressure ulcers at cord levels does not occur until there is motor sparing ASIA C or D. Furthermore, cauda equina lumbosacral injuries are a lower risk, which is independent of ASIA grade A-D and statistically equivalent to cord level C or D. Motor sparing at cord levels or any cauda equina level is most determinative neurologically for the occurrence of pressure ulcers or pressure ulcer surgery. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Non-aggregating tau phosphorylation by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 contributes to motor neuron degeneration in spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Miller, Nimrod; Feng, Zhihua; Edens, Brittany M; Yang, Ben; Shi, Han; Sze, Christie C; Hong, Benjamin Taige; Su, Susan C; Cantu, Jorge A; Topczewski, Jacek; Crawford, Thomas O; Ko, Chien-Ping; Sumner, Charlotte J; Ma, Long; Ma, Yong-Chao

    2015-04-15

    Mechanisms underlying motor neuron degeneration in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading inherited cause of infant mortality, remain largely unknown. Many studies have established the importance of hyperphosphorylation of the microtubule-associated protein tau in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. However, tau phosphorylation in SMA pathogenesis has yet to be investigated. Here we show that tau phosphorylation on serine 202 (S202) and threonine 205 (T205) is increased significantly in SMA motor neurons using two SMA mouse models and human SMA patient spinal cord samples. Interestingly, phosphorylated tau does not form aggregates in motor neurons or neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), even at late stages of SMA disease, distinguishing it from other tauopathies. Hyperphosphorylation of tau on S202 and T205 is mediated by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) in SMA disease condition, because tau phosphorylation at these sites is significantly reduced in Cdk5 knock-out mice; genetic knock-out of Cdk5 activating subunit p35 in an SMA mouse model also leads to reduced tau phosphorylation on S202 and T205 in the SMA;p35(-/-) compound mutant mice. In addition, expression of the phosphorylation-deficient tauS202A,T205A mutant alleviates motor neuron defects in a zebrafish SMA model in vivo and mouse motor neuron degeneration in culture, whereas expression of phosphorylation-mimetic tauS202E,T205E promotes motor neuron defects. More importantly, genetic knock-out of tau in SMA mice rescues synapse stripping on motor neurons, NMJ denervation, and motor neuron degeneration in vivo. Altogether, our findings suggest a novel mechanism for SMA pathogenesis in which hyperphosphorylation of non-aggregating tau by Cdk5 contributes to motor neuron degeneration. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/356038-13$15.00/0.

  14. Non-Aggregating Tau Phosphorylation by Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 5 Contributes to Motor Neuron Degeneration in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Nimrod; Feng, Zhihua; Edens, Brittany M.; Yang, Ben; Shi, Han; Sze, Christie C.; Hong, Benjamin Taige; Su, Susan C.; Cantu, Jorge A.; Topczewski, Jacek; Crawford, Thomas O.; Ko, Chien-Ping; Sumner, Charlotte J.; Ma, Long

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms underlying motor neuron degeneration in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading inherited cause of infant mortality, remain largely unknown. Many studies have established the importance of hyperphosphorylation of the microtubule-associated protein tau in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. However, tau phosphorylation in SMA pathogenesis has yet to be investigated. Here we show that tau phosphorylation on serine 202 (S202) and threonine 205 (T205) is increased significantly in SMA motor neurons using two SMA mouse models and human SMA patient spinal cord samples. Interestingly, phosphorylated tau does not form aggregates in motor neurons or neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), even at late stages of SMA disease, distinguishing it from other tauopathies. Hyperphosphorylation of tau on S202 and T205 is mediated by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) in SMA disease condition, because tau phosphorylation at these sites is significantly reduced in Cdk5 knock-out mice; genetic knock-out of Cdk5 activating subunit p35 in an SMA mouse model also leads to reduced tau phosphorylation on S202 and T205 in the SMA;p35−/− compound mutant mice. In addition, expression of the phosphorylation-deficient tauS202A,T205A mutant alleviates motor neuron defects in a zebrafish SMA model in vivo and mouse motor neuron degeneration in culture, whereas expression of phosphorylation-mimetic tauS202E,T205E promotes motor neuron defects. More importantly, genetic knock-out of tau in SMA mice rescues synapse stripping on motor neurons, NMJ denervation, and motor neuron degeneration in vivo. Altogether, our findings suggest a novel mechanism for SMA pathogenesis in which hyperphosphorylation of non-aggregating tau by Cdk5 contributes to motor neuron degeneration. PMID:25878277

  15. Organization of motor pools supplying the cervical musculature in a cryptodyran turtle, Pseudemys scripta elegans. I. Dorsal and ventral motor nuclei of the cervical spinal cord and muscles supplied by a single motor nucleus.

    PubMed

    Yeow, M B; Peterson, E H

    1986-01-08

    In this and the accompanying paper (Yeow and Peterson, '86) we characterize motor nuclei of the cervical spinal cord in Pseudemys scripta and the motor pools of eight cervical muscles. We have identified three motor nuclei that supply the cervical musculature by using serial reconstructions of Nissl-stained spinal cords cut in three cardinal planes, and in experimental cases in which horseradish peroxidase (HRP) was applied to individual neck muscles. These nuclei are named according to their position as visualized in the transverse plane: dorsal, ventral, and medial. A fourth (ventrolateral) motor nucleus was never labelled following application of HRP to the cervical musculature and presumably innervates the forelimbs. The dorsal motor nucleus occupies the mid-dorsal to dorsolateral ventral horn of C1 and C2. It is composed of at least two morphological groups of motor neurons; one of these is a population of very large, fusiform profiles with transversely oriented dendrites that is found primarily in C1. The ventral motor nucleus occupies the tip of the ventral horn from C1 to C8. Its cells are significantly smaller and more numerous in rostral than in caudal cervical segments. In Nissl material, ventral nuclear profiles show little tendency to cluster into subgroups, but experimental cases suggest that there is some spatial dissociation of different motor pools within the ventral nucleus. The medial motor nucleus is described in the accompanying paper together with the motor pools of three cervical muscles that it supplies. Having identified the cervical motor nuclei we then used retrograde transport of HRP to characterize the motor pools of individual cervical muscles. Two superficial ventral muscles (mm. coracohyoideus and plastro-squamosus) are supplied by dorsal nuclear cells. M. coracohyoideus motor neurons are significantly larger than those of m. plastrosquamosus and the very large, fusiform cell type is relatively more numerous in the m. coracohyoideus

  16. Electrically induced resistance training in individuals with motor complete spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Terence E; Brizendine, Jared T; Backus, Deborah; McCully, Kevin K

    2013-11-01

    To examine the effects of 16 weeks of electrically induced resistance training on insulin resistance and glucose tolerance, and changes in muscle size, composition, and metabolism in paralyzed muscle. Pre-post intervention. University-based trial. Participants (N=14; 11 men and 3 women) with chronic (>2y post spinal cord injury), motor complete spinal cord injury. Home-based electrically induced resistance exercise training twice weekly for 16 weeks. Plasma glucose and insulin throughout a standard clinical oral glucose tolerance test, thigh muscle and fat mass via dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, quadriceps and hamstrings muscle size and composition via magnetic resonance imaging, and muscle oxidative metabolism using phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Muscle mass increased in all participants (mean ± SD, 39%±27%; range, 5%-84%). The mean change ± SD in intramuscular fat was 3%±22%. Phosphocreatine mean recovery time constants ± SD were 102±24 and 77±18 seconds before and after electrical stimulation-induced resistance training, respectively (P<.05). There was no improvement in fasting blood glucose levels, homeostatic model assessment calculated insulin resistance, 2-hour insulin, or 2-hour glucose. Sixteen weeks of electrical stimulation-induced resistance training increased muscle mass, but did not reduce intramuscular fat. Similarly, factors associated with insulin resistance or glucose tolerance did not improve with training. We did find a 25% improvement in mitochondrial function, as measured by phosphocreatine recovery rates. Larger improvements in mitochondrial function may translate into improved glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. Copyright © 2013 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Utility of Survival Motor Neuron ELISA for Spinal Muscular Atrophy Clinical and Preclinical Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Kobayashi, Dione T.; Olson, Rory J.; Sly, Laurel; Swanson, Chad J.; Chung, Brett; Naryshkin, Nikolai; Narasimhan, Jana; Bhattacharyya, Anuradha; Mullenix, Michael; Chen, Karen S.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives Genetic defects leading to the reduction of the survival motor neuron protein (SMN) are a causal factor for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). While there are a number of therapies under evaluation as potential treatments for SMA, there is a critical lack of a biomarker method for assessing efficacy of therapeutic interventions, particularly those targeting upregulation of SMN protein levels. Towards this end we have engaged in developing an immunoassay capable of accurately measuring SMN protein levels in blood, specifically in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), as a tool for validating SMN protein as a biomarker in SMA. Methods A sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed and validated for measuring SMN protein in human PBMCs and other cell lysates. Protocols for detection and extraction of SMN from transgenic SMA mouse tissues were also developed. Results The assay sensitivity for human SMN is 50 pg/mL. Initial analysis reveals that PBMCs yield enough SMN to analyze from blood volumes of less than 1 mL, and SMA Type I patients' PBMCs show ∼90% reduction of SMN protein compared to normal adults. The ELISA can reliably quantify SMN protein in human and mouse PBMCs and muscle, as well as brain, and spinal cord from a mouse model of severe SMA. Conclusions This SMN ELISA assay enables the reliable, quantitative and rapid measurement of SMN in healthy human and SMA patient PBMCs, muscle and fibroblasts. SMN was also detected in several tissues in a mouse model of SMA, as well as in wildtype mouse tissues. This SMN ELISA has general translational applicability to both preclinical and clinical research efforts. PMID:21904622

  18. Assessment of abdominal muscle function in individuals with motor-complete spinal cord injury above T6 in response to transcranial magnetic stimulation.

    PubMed

    Bjerkefors, Anna; Squair, Jordan W; Chua, Romeo; Lam, Tania; Chen, Zhen; Carpenter, Mark G

    2015-02-01

    To use transcranial magnetic stimulation and electromyography to assess the potential for preserved function in the abdominal muscles in individuals classified with motor-complete spinal cord injury above T6. Five individuals with spinal cord injury (C5-T3) and 5 able-bodied individuals. Transcranial magnetic stimulation was delivered over the abdominal region of primary motor cortex during resting and sub-maximal (or attempted) contractions. Surface electromyography was used to record motor-evoked potentials as well as maximal voluntary (or attempted) contractions in the abdominal muscles and the diaphragm. Responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation in the abdominal muscles occurred in all spinal cord injury subjects. Latencies of muscle response onsets were similar in both groups; however, peak-to-peak amplitudes were smaller in the spinal cord injury group. During maximal voluntary (or attempted) contractions all spinal cord injury subjects were able to elicit electromyography activity above resting levels in more than one abdominal muscle across tasks. Individuals with motor-complete spinal cord injury above T6 were able to activate abdominal muscles in response to transcranial magnetic stimulation and during maximal voluntary (or attempted) contractions. The activation was induced directly through corticospinal pathways, and not indirectly by stretch reflex activations of the diaphragm. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and electromyography measurements provide a useful method to assess motor preservation of abdominal muscles in persons with spinal cord injury.

  19. Improved Gait Speed After Robot-Assisted Gait Training in Patients With Motor Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: A Preliminary Study

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the clinical features that could serve as predictive factors for improvement in gait speed after robotic treatment. Methods A total of 29 patients with motor incomplete spinal cord injury received 4-week robot-assisted gait training (RAGT) on the Lokomat (Hocoma AG, Volketswil, Switzerland) for 30 minutes, once a day, 5 times a week, for a total of 20 sessions. All subjects were evaluated for general characteristics, the 10-Meter Walk Test (10MWT), the Lower Extremity Motor Score (LEMS), the Functional Ambulatory Category (FAC), the Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury version II (WISCI-II), the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), and the Spinal Cord Independence Measure version III (SCIM-III) every 0, and 4 weeks. After all the interventions, subjects were stratified using the 10MWT score at 4 weeks into improved group and non-improved group for statistical analysis. Results The improved group had younger age and shorter disease duration than the non-improved group. All subjects with the American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale level C (AIS-C) tetraplegia belonged to the non-improved group, while most subjects with AIS-C paraplegia, AIS-D tetraplegia, and AIS-D paraplegia belonged to the improved group. The improved group showed greater baseline lower extremity strength, balance, and daily living function than the non-improved group. Conclusion Assessment of SCIM-III, BBS, and trunk control, in addition to LEMS, have potential for predicting the effects of robotic treatment in patients with motor incomplete spinal cord injury. PMID:28289633

  20. Sensory neurons do not induce motor neuron loss in a human stem cell model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Schwab, Andrew J; Ebert, Allison D

    2014-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder leading to paralysis and early death due to reduced SMN protein. It is unclear why there is such a profound motor neuron loss, but recent evidence from fly and mouse studies indicate that cells comprising the whole sensory-motor circuit may contribute to motor neuron dysfunction and loss. Here, we used induced pluripotent stem cells derived from SMA patients to test whether sensory neurons directly contribute to motor neuron loss. We generated sensory neurons from SMA induced pluripotent stem cells and found no difference in neuron generation or survival, although there was a reduced calcium response to depolarizing stimuli. Using co-culture of SMA induced pluripotent stem cell derived sensory neurons with control induced pluripotent stem cell derived motor neurons, we found no significant reduction in motor neuron number or glutamate transporter boutons on motor neuron cell bodies or neurites. We conclude that SMA sensory neurons do not overtly contribute to motor neuron loss in this human stem cell system.

  1. Intraoperative changes in transcranial motor evoked potentials and somatosensory evoked potentials predicting outcome in children with intramedullary spinal cord tumors

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Jason S.; Ivan, Michael E.; Stapleton, Christopher J.; Quinones-HinoJosa, AlfreDo; Gupta, Nalin; Auguste, Kurtis I.

    2015-01-01

    Object Intraoperative dorsal column mapping, transcranial motor evoked potentials (TcMEPs), and somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) have been used in adults to assist with the resection of intramedullary spinal cord tumors (IMSCTs) and to predict postoperative motor deficits. The authors sought to determine whether changes in MEP and SSEP waveforms would similarly predict postoperative motor deficits in children. Methods The authors reviewed charts and intraoperative records for children who had undergone resection for IMSCTs as well as dorsal column mapping and TcMEP and SSEP monitoring. Motor evoked potential data were supplemented with electromyography data obtained using a Kartush microstimulator (Medtronic Inc.). Motor strength was graded using the Medical Research Council (MRC) scale during the preoperative, immediate postoperative, and follow-up periods. Reductions in SSEPs were documented after mechanical traction, in response to maneuvers with the cavitational ultrasonic surgical aspirator (CUSA), or both. Results Data from 12 patients were analyzed. Three lesions were encountered in the cervical and 7 in the thoracic spinal cord. Two patients had lesions of the cervicomedullary junction and upper spinal cord. Intraoperative MEP changes were noted in half of the patients. In these cases, normal polyphasic signals converted to biphasic signals, and these changes correlated with a loss of 1–2 grades in motor strength. One patient lost MEP signals completely and recovered strength to MRC Grade 4/5. The 2 patients with high cervical lesions showed neither intraoperative MEP changes nor motor deficits postoperatively. Dorsal columns were mapped in 7 patients, and the midline was determined accurately in all 7. Somatosensory evoked potentials were decreased in 7 patients. Two patients each had 2 SSEP decreases in response to traction intraoperatively but had no new sensory findings postoperatively. Another 2 patients had 3 traction-related SSEP decreases

  2. Intraoperative changes in transcranial motor evoked potentials and somatosensory evoked potentials predicting outcome in children with intramedullary spinal cord tumors.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Jason S; Ivan, Michael E; Stapleton, Christopher J; Quinones-Hinojosa, Alfredo; Gupta, Nalin; Auguste, Kurtis I

    2014-06-01

    Intraoperative dorsal column mapping, transcranial motor evoked potentials (TcMEPs), and somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) have been used in adults to assist with the resection of intramedullary spinal cord tumors (IMSCTs) and to predict postoperative motor deficits. The authors sought to determine whether changes in MEP and SSEP waveforms would similarly predict postoperative motor deficits in children. The authors reviewed charts and intraoperative records for children who had undergone resection for IMSCTs as well as dorsal column mapping and TcMEP and SSEP monitoring. Motor evoked potential data were supplemented with electromyography data obtained using a Kartush microstimulator (Medtronic Inc.). Motor strength was graded using the Medical Research Council (MRC) scale during the preoperative, immediate postoperative, and follow-up periods. Reductions in SSEPs were documented after mechanical traction, in response to maneuvers with the cavitational ultrasonic surgical aspirator (CUSA), or both. Data from 12 patients were analyzed. Three lesions were encountered in the cervical and 7 in the thoracic spinal cord. Two patients had lesions of the cervicomedullary junction and upper spinal cord. Intraoperative MEP changes were noted in half of the patients. In these cases, normal polyphasic signals converted to biphasic signals, and these changes correlated with a loss of 1-2 grades in motor strength. One patient lost MEP signals completely and recovered strength to MRC Grade 4/5. The 2 patients with high cervical lesions showed neither intraoperative MEP changes nor motor deficits postoperatively. Dorsal columns were mapped in 7 patients, and the midline was determined accurately in all 7. Somatosensory evoked potentials were decreased in 7 patients. Two patients each had 2 SSEP decreases in response to traction intraoperatively but had no new sensory findings postoperatively. Another 2 patients had 3 traction-related SSEP decreases intraoperatively, and both

  3. X-linked spinal muscular atrophy in mice caused by autonomous loss of ATP7A in the motor neuron

    PubMed Central

    Hodgkinson, Victoria L.; Dale, Jeffery M.; Garcia, Michael L.; Weisman, Gary A.; Lee, Jaekwon; Gitlin, Jonathan D.; Petris, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    ATP7A is a copper transporting P-type ATPase that is essential for cellular copper homeostasis. Loss-of-function mutations in the ATP7A gene result in Menkes disease, a fatal neurodegenerative disorder resulting in seizures, hypotonia, and failure to thrive due to systemic copper deficiency. Most recently, rare missense mutations in ATP7A that do not impact systemic copper homeostasis have been shown to cause X-linked Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 3 (SMAX3), a distal hereditary motor neuropathy. An understanding of the mechanistic and pathophysiological basis of SMAX3 is currently lacking, in part because the disease-causing mutations have been shown to confer both loss- and gain-of-function properties to ATP7A, and because there is currently no animal model of the disease. In this study, the Atp7a gene was specifically deleted in the motor neurons of mice resulting in a degenerative phenotype consistent with the clinical features in affected patients with SMAX3, including the progressive deterioration of gait, age-dependent muscle atrophy, denervation of neuromuscular junctions, and a loss of motor neuron cell bodies. Taken together these data reveal autonomous requirements for ATP7A that reveal essential roles for copper in the maintenance and function of the motor neuron, and suggest that SMAX3 is caused by a loss of ATP7A function that specifically impacts in the spinal motor neuron. PMID:25639447

  4. Role of energy metabolic deficits and oxidative stress in excitotoxic spinal motor neuron degeneration in vivo.

    PubMed

    Santa-Cruz, Luz Diana; Tapia, Ricardo

    2014-03-12

    MN (motor neuron) death in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may be mediated by glutamatergic excitotoxicity. Previously, our group showed that the microdialysis perfusion of AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate) in the rat lumbar spinal cord induced MN death and permanent paralysis within 12 h after the experiment. Here, we studied the involvement of energy metabolic deficiencies and of oxidative stress in this MN degeneration, by testing the neuroprotective effect of various energy metabolic substrates and antioxidants. Pyruvate, lactate, β-hydroxybutyrate, α-ketobutyrate and creatine reduced MN loss by 50-65%, preserved motor function and completely prevented the paralysis. Ascorbate, glutathione and glutathione ethyl ester weakly protected against motor deficits and reduced MN death by only 30-40%. Reactive oxygen species formation and 3-nitrotyrosine immunoreactivity were studied 1.5-2 h after AMPA perfusion, during the initial MN degenerating process, and no changes were observed. We conclude that mitochondrial energy deficiency plays a crucial role in this excitotoxic spinal MN degeneration, whereas oxidative stress seems a less relevant mechanism. Interestingly, we observed a clear correlation between the alterations of motor function and the number of damaged MNs, suggesting that there is a threshold of about 50% in the number of healthy MNs necessary to preserve motor function.

  5. X-linked spinal muscular atrophy in mice caused by autonomous loss of ATP7A in the motor neuron.

    PubMed

    Hodgkinson, Victoria L; Dale, Jeffery M; Garcia, Michael L; Weisman, Gary A; Lee, Jaekwon; Gitlin, Jonathan D; Petris, Michael J

    2015-06-01

    ATP7A is a copper-transporting P-type ATPase that is essential for cellular copper homeostasis. Loss-of-function mutations in the ATP7A gene result in Menkes disease, a fatal neurodegenerative disorder resulting in seizures, hypotonia and failure to thrive, due to systemic copper deficiency. Most recently, rare missense mutations in ATP7A that do not impact systemic copper homeostasis have been shown to cause X-linked spinal muscular atrophy type 3 (SMAX3), a distal hereditary motor neuropathy. An understanding of the mechanistic and pathophysiological basis of SMAX3 is currently lacking, in part because the disease-causing mutations have been shown to confer both loss- and gain-of-function properties to ATP7A, and because there is currently no animal model of the disease. In this study, the Atp7a gene was specifically deleted in the motor neurons of mice, resulting in a degenerative phenotype consistent with the clinical features in affected patients with SMAX3, including the progressive deterioration of gait, age-dependent muscle atrophy, denervation of neuromuscular junctions and a loss of motor neuron cell bodies. Taken together, these data reveal autonomous requirements for ATP7A that reveal essential roles for copper in the maintenance and function of the motor neuron, and suggest that SMAX3 is caused by a loss of ATP7A function that specifically impacts the spinal motor neuron.

  6. Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry based Molecular Histology of Human Spinal Cord Tissue and Motor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hanrieder, Jörg; Malmberg, Per; Lindberg, Olle R.; Fletcher, John S.; Ewing, Andrew G.

    2013-01-01

    Secondary ion mass spectrometry is a powerful method for imaging biological samples with high spatial resolution. Whole section ToF SIMS scans and multivariate data analysis have been performed on human spinal cord in order to delineate anatomical regions of interest based on their chemical distribution pattern. ToF SIMS analysis of thoracic spinal cord sections was performed at 5µm resolution within 2 hours. Multivariate image analysis by means of principal component analysis and maximum auto correlation factor analysis resulted in detection of more than 400 m/z peaks that were found to be significantly changed. Here, the results show characteristic biochemical distributions that are well in line with major histological regions, including grey and white matter. As an approach for iterative segmentation, we further evaluated previously outlined regions of interest as identified by multivariate image analysis. Here, further discrimination of the grey matter into ventral, lateral and dorsal neuroanatomical regions was observed. TOF SIMS imaging has been carried out at submicron resolution obtaining localization and characterization of spinal motor neurons based on their chemical fingerprint, including neurotransmitter precursors that serve as molecular indicators for motor neuron integrity. Thus, TOF SIMS can be used as an approach for chemical histology and pathology. SIMS holds immense potential for investigating the subcellular mechanisms underlying spinal cord related diseases including chronic pain and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. PMID:23947367

  7. Metamorphosis-induced changes in the coupling of spinal thoraco-lumbar motor outputs during swimming in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Beyeler, Anna; Métais, Charles; Combes, Denis; Simmers, John; Le Ray, Didier

    2008-09-01

    Anuran metamorphosis includes a complete remodeling of the animal's biomechanical apparatus, requiring a corresponding functional reorganization of underlying central neural circuitry. This involves changes that must occur in the coordination between the motor outputs of different spinal segments to harmonize locomotor and postural functions as the limbs grow and the tail regresses. In premetamorphic Xenopus laevis tadpoles, axial motor output drives rostrocaudally propagating segmental myotomal contractions that generate propulsive body undulations. During metamorphosis, the anterior axial musculature of the tadpole progressively evolves into dorsal muscles in the postmetamorphic froglet in which some of these back muscles lose their implicit locomotor function to serve exclusively in postural control in the adult. To understand how locomotor and postural systems interact during locomotion in juvenile Xenopus, we have investigated the coordination between postural back and hindlimb muscle activity during free forward swimming. Axial/dorsal muscles, which contract in bilateral alternation during undulatory swimming in premetamorphic tadpoles, change their left-right coordination to become activated in phase with bilaterally synchronous hindlimb extensions in locomoting juveniles. Based on in vitro electrophysiological experiments as well as specific spinal lesions in vivo, a spinal cord region was delimited in which propriospinal interactions are directly responsible for the coordination between leg and back muscle contractions. Our findings therefore indicate that dynamic postural adjustments during adult Xenopus locomotion are mediated by local intraspinal pathways through which the lumbar generator for hindlimb propulsive kicking provides caudorostral commands to thoracic spinal circuitry controlling the dorsal trunk musculature.

  8. Astrocyte-produced miR-146a as a mediator of motor neuron loss in spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Sison, Samantha L; Patitucci, Teresa N; Seminary, Emily R; Villalon, Eric; Lorson, Christian L; Ebert, Allison D

    2017-09-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading genetic cause of infant mortality, is caused by the loss of the survival motor neuron-1 (SMN1) gene, which leads to motor neuron loss, muscle atrophy, respiratory distress, and death. Motor neurons exhibit the most profound loss, but the mechanisms underlying disease pathogenesis are not fully understood. Recent evidence suggests that motor neuron extrinsic influences, such as those arising from astrocytes, contribute to motor neuron malfunction and loss. Here we investigated both loss-of-function and toxic gain-of-function astrocyte mechanisms that could play a role in SMA pathology. We had previously found that glial derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is reduced in SMA astrocytes. However, reduced GDNF expression does not play a major role in SMA pathology as viral-mediated GDNF re-expression did not improve astrocyte function or motor neuron loss. In contrast, we found that SMA astrocytes increased microRNA (miR) production and secretion compared to control astrocytes, suggesting potential toxic gain-of-function properties. Specifically, we found that miR-146a was significantly upregulated in SMA induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived astrocytes and SMNΔ7 mouse spinal cord. Moreover, increased miR-146a was sufficient to induce motor neuron loss in vitro, whereas miR-146a inhibition prevented SMA astrocyte-induced motor neuron loss. Together, these data indicate that altered astrocyte production of miR-146a may be a contributing factor in astrocyte-mediated SMA pathology. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Optical Imaging of the Motor Cortex Following Antidromic Activation of the Corticospinal Tract after Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Kyung H.; Kim, Un J.; Park, Se W.; Park, Yong G.; Lee, Bae H.

    2017-01-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) disrupts neuronal networks of ascending and descending tracts at the site of injury, leading to a loss of motor function. Restoration and new circuit formation are important components of the recovery process, which involves collateral sprouting of injured and uninjured fibers. The present study was conducted to determine cortical responses to antidromic stimulation of the corticospinal tracts, to compare changes in the reorganization of neural pathways within normal and spinal cord-injured rats, and to elucidate differences in spatiotemporal activity patterns of the natural progression and reorganization of neural pathways in normal and SCI animals using optical imaging. Optical signals were recorded from the motor cortex in response to electrical stimulation of the ventral horn of the L1 spinal cord. Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were evaluated to demonstrate endogenous recovery of physiological functions after SCI. A significantly shorter N1 peak latency and broader activation in the MEP optical recordings were observed at 4 weeks after SCI, compared to 1 week after SCI. Spatiotemporal patterns in the cerebral cortex differed depending on functional recovery. In the present study, optical imaging was found to be useful in revealing functional changes and may reflect conditions of reorganization and/or changes in surviving neurons after SCI. PMID:28405184

  10. Spinal vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and erythropoietin (EPO) induced phrenic motor facilitation after repetitive acute intermittent hypoxia.

    PubMed

    Dale, Erica A; Mitchell, Gordon S

    2013-02-01

    Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and erythropoietin (EPO) exert neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects in the CNS. We recently demonstrated that VEGF, EPO and their receptors (VEGF-R2, EPO-R) are expressed in phrenic motor neurons, and that cervical spinal VEGF-R2 and EPO-R activation elicit long-lasting phrenic motor facilitation (pMF). Since VEGF, VEGF-R, EPO, and EPO-R are hypoxia-regulated genes, and repetitive exposure to acute intermittent hypoxia (rAIH) up-regulates these molecules in phrenic motor neurons, we tested the hypothesis that 4 weeks of rAIH (10 episodes per day, 3 days per week) enhances VEGF- or EPO-induced pMF. We confirm that cervical spinal VEGF and EPO injections elicit pMF. However, neither VEGF- nor EPO-induced pMF was affected by rAIH pre-conditioning (4 wks). Although our data confirm that spinal VEGF and EPO may play an important role in respiratory plasticity, we provide no evidence that rAIH amplifies their impact. Further experiments with more robust protocols are warranted.

  11. Changes in GABAA receptor subunit gamma2 in extensor and flexor motoneurons and astrocytes after spinal cord transection and motor training

    PubMed Central

    Khristy, Windyanne; Ali, Noore J.; Bravo, Arlene B.; de Leon, Ray; Roy, Roland R.; Zhong, Hui; London, Nik J. L.; Edgerton, V. Reggie; Tillakaratne, Niranjala J. K.

    2009-01-01

    GABA signaling plays an important role in the spinal cord response to injury and subsequent motor training. Since benzodiazepines are commonly used to treat muscle spasticity in spinal cord injured subjects and the γ2 subunit of the GABAA receptor is necessary for benzodiazepine binding, this subunit may be an important factor modulating sensorimotor function after an injury. Changes in γ2 levels in muscle-specific motoneurons and surrounding astrocytes were determined ~3 months after a complete mid-thoracic spinal cord transection at P5 in non-trained and in step-trained spinal rats. Soleus (ankle extensor) and tibialis anterior (TA, ankle flexor) motor pools were identified using retrograde labeling via intramuscular injections of Fast Blue or Fluoro Gold, respectively. Lumbar spinal cord sections showed γ2 immunostaining in both soleus and TA motoneurons and astrocytes. γ2 immunoreactivity on the soma of soleus and TA motoneurons in spinal rats was differentially modulated. Compared to intact rats, spinal rats had higher levels of γ2 in TA, and lower levels in soleus motoneurons. Step training restored GABAA γ2 levels towards control values in motoneuronal pools of both muscles. In contrast, the γ2 levels were elevated in surrounding astrocytes of both motor pools in spinal rats, and step training had no further effect. Thus, motor training had a specific effect on those neurons that were directly involved with the motor task. Since the γ2 subunit is involved with GABAA receptor trafficking and synaptic clustering, it appears that this subunit could be an important component of the activity-dependent response of the spinal cord after a spinal injury. PMID:19358834

  12. Intrathecal chlorprothixene, cis(z)-flupenthixol, chlorpromazine and fluphenazine for prolonged spinal blockades of sensory and motor functions in rats.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yu-Wen; Chu, Chin-Chen; Chen, Yu-Chung; Leung, Yuk-Man; Wang, Jhi-Joung

    2012-10-15

    The aim of this study was to examine whether thioxanthine-type antipsychotics (chlorprothixene and cis(z)-flupenthixol) and phenothiazine-type antipsychotics (chlorpromazine and fluphenazine) produced spinal anesthesia. Using a rat model of intrathecal injection, we evaluated spinal anesthesia of antipsychotic drugs (chlorprothixene, cis(z)-flupenthixol, chlorpromazine, and fluphenazine) and bupivacaine, a known local anesthetic. At a same dose of 2.31 μmol/kg, chlorprothixene had the most potent spinal blockades (P<0.001) and the longest duration of action (P<0.001) of motor function and nociception among those antipsychotic drugs. On the 50% effective dose (ED(50)) basis, the ranks of potencies were chlorprothixene=bupivacaine>cis(z)-flupenthixol>chlorpromazine>fluphenazine (P<0.01 for the differences) in dose-response studies. At an equianesthetic basis (ED(25), ED(50), and ED(75)), the spinal block duration caused by chlorprothixene, cis(z)-flupenthixol, chlorpromazine or fluphenazine was longer than that caused by bupivacaine (P<0.05). These results showed that chlorprothixene produced a similar potency and longer duration of spinal anesthesia than did bupivacaine, whereas several other antipsychotics produced less potency than did bupivacaine. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Maternal Care Effects on the Development of a Sexually Dimorphic Motor System: The Role of Spinal Oxytocin

    PubMed Central

    Lenz, Kathryn M.; Sengelaub, Dale R.

    2010-01-01

    Maternal licking in rats affects the development of the spinal nucleus of the bulbocavernosus (SNB), a sexually dimorphic motor nucleus that controls penile reflexes involved with copulation. Reduced maternal licking results in decreased motoneuron number, size, and dendritic length in the adult SNB, as well as deficits in adult male copulatory behavior. Our previous findings that licking-like tactile stimulation influences SNB dendritic development and upregulates Fos expression in the lumbosacral spinal cord suggest that afferent signaling is changed by differences in maternal stimulation. Oxytocin afferents from the hypothalamus are a possible candidate, given previous research that has shown oxytocin is released following sensory stimulation, oxytocin modulates excitability in the spinal cord, and is a pro-erectile modulator of male sex behavior. In this experiment, we used immunofluorescence and immediate early gene analysis to assess whether licking-like tactile stimulation of the perineum activated parvocellular oxytocinergic neurons in the hypothalamus in neonates. We also used enzyme immunoassay to determine whether this same stroking stimulation produced an increase in spinal oxytocin levels. We found that stroking increased Fos immunolabeling in small oxytocin-positive cells in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, in comparison to unstroked or handled control pups. In addition, sixty seconds of licking-like perineal stimulation produced a transient 89% increase in oxytocin levels in the lumbosacral spinal cord. Together, these results suggest that oxytocin afferent activity may contribute to the effects of early maternal care on the masculinization of the SNB and resultant male copulatory behavior. PMID:20688065

  14. FK1706, a novel non-immunosuppressant neurophilin ligand, ameliorates motor dysfunction following spinal cord injury through its neuroregenerative action.

    PubMed

    Yamaji, Takayuki; Yamazaki, Shunji; Li, Jiyao; Price, Raymond D; Matsuoka, Nobuya; Mutoh, Seitaro

    2008-09-04

    Injured spinal cord axons fail to regenerate in part due to a lack of trophic support. While various methods for replacing neurotrophins have been pursued, clinical uses of these methods face significant barriers. FK1706, a non-immunosuppressant neurophilin ligand, potentiates nerve growth factor signaling, suggesting therapeutic potential for functional deficits following spinal cord injury. Here, we demonstrate that FK1706 significantly improves behavioral outcomes in animal models of spinal cord hemisection and contusion injuries in rats. Furthermore, we show that FK1706 is effective even if administration is delayed until 1 week after injury, suggesting that FK1706 has a reasonable therapeutic time-window. Morphological analysis of injured axons in the dorsal corticospinal tract showed an increase in the radius and perimeter of stained axons, which were reduced by FK1706 treatment, suggesting that axonal swelling and retraction balls observed in injured spinal cord were improved by the neurotrophic effect of FK1706. Taken together, FK1706 improves both behavioral motor function and the underlying morphological changes, suggesting that FK1706 may have therapeutic potential in meeting the significant unmet needs in spinal cord injury.

  15. p53 Regulates the neuronal intrinsic and extrinsic responses affecting the recovery of motor function following spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Floriddia, Elisa M; Rathore, Khizr I; Tedeschi, Andrea; Quadrato, Giorgia; Wuttke, Anja; Lueckmann, Jan-Matthis; Kigerl, Kristina A; Popovich, Phillip G; Di Giovanni, Simone

    2012-10-03

    Following spinal trauma, the limited physiological axonal sprouting that contributes to partial recovery of function is dependent upon the intrinsic properties of neurons as well as the inhibitory glial environment. The transcription factor p53 is involved in DNA repair, cell cycle, cell survival, and axonal outgrowth, suggesting p53 as key modifier of axonal and glial responses influencing functional recovery following spinal injury. Indeed, in a spinal cord dorsal hemisection injury model, we observed a significant impairment in locomotor recovery in p53(-/-) versus wild-type mice. p53(-/-) spinal cords showed an increased number of activated microglia/macrophages and a larger scar at the lesion site. Loss- and gain-of-function experiments suggested p53 as a direct regulator of microglia/macrophages proliferation. At the axonal level, p53(-/-) mice showed a more pronounced dieback of the corticospinal tract (CST) and a decreased sprouting capacity of both CST and spinal serotoninergic fibers. In vivo expression of p53 in the sensorimotor cortex rescued and enhanced the sprouting potential of the CST in p53(-/-) mice, while, similarly, p53 expression in p53(-/-) cultured cortical neurons rescued a defect in neurite outgrowth, suggesting a direct role for p53 in regulating the intrinsic sprouting ability of CNS neurons. In conclusion, we show that p53 plays an important regulatory role at both extrinsic and intrinsic levels affecting the recovery of motor function following spinal cord injury. Therefore, we propose p53 as a novel potential multilevel therapeutic target for spinal cord injury.

  16. Isoflurane, But Not the Nonimmobilizers F6 and F8, Inhibits Rat Spinal Cord Motor Neuron CaV1 Calcium Currents

    PubMed Central

    Recio-Pinto, Esperanza; Montoya-Gacharna, Jose V.; Xu, Fang; Blanck, Thomas J.J.

    2015-01-01

    Background Volatile anesthetics decrease Ca2+ entry through voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels. Ca2+ influences neurotransmitter release and neuronal excitability. Because volatile anesthetics act specifically on the spinal cord to produce immobility, we examined the effect of isoflurane and the nonimmobilizers F6 (1, 2- dichlorohexafluorocyclobutane) and F8 (2, 3- dichlorooctafluorobutane) on CaV1 and CaV2 Ca2+ channels in spinal cord motor neurons and dorsal root ganglion neurons. Methods Using patch clamping, we compared the effects of isoflurane with those of F6 and F8 on CaV1 and CaV2 channels in isolated, cultured adult rat spinal cord motor neurons and on CaV1 and CaV2 channels in adult rat dorsal root ganglion sensory neurons. Results In spinal cord motor neurons, isoflurane, but not F6 or F8, inhibited currents through CaV1 channels. Isoflurane and at least one of the nonimmobilizers inhibited currents through CaV1 and CaV2 channels in dorsal root ganglion neurons and Cav2 in spinal cord motor neurons Conclusion The findings that isoflurane, but not nonimmobilizers, inhibited CaV1 Ca2+ channels in spinal cord motor neurons are consistent with the notion that spinal cord motor neurons might mediate isoflurane-induced immobility. Additional studies are required to examine whether inhibition of CaV1 calcium currents in spinal cord motor neurons are sufficient, or whether actions on other channels/proteins also contribute to isoflurane-induced immobility. PMID:26702867

  17. Isoflurane, but Not the Nonimmobilizers F6 and F8, Inhibits Rat Spinal Cord Motor Neuron CaV1 Calcium Currents.

    PubMed

    Recio-Pinto, Esperanza; Montoya-Gacharna, Jose V; Xu, Fang; Blanck, Thomas J J

    2016-03-01

    Volatile anesthetics decrease Ca²⁺ entry through voltage-dependent Ca²⁺ channels. Ca influences neurotransmitter release and neuronal excitability. Because volatile anesthetics act specifically on the spinal cord to produce immobility, we examined the effect of isoflurane and the nonimmobilizers F6 (1, 2-dichlorohexafluorocyclobutane) and F8 (2, 3-dichlorooctafluorobutane) on CaV1 and CaV2 Ca²⁺ channels in spinal cord motor neurons and dorsal root ganglion neurons. Using patch clamping, we compared the effects of isoflurane with those of F6 and F8 on CaV1 and CaV2 channels in isolated, cultured adult rat spinal cord motor neurons and on CaV1 and CaV2 channels in adult rat dorsal root ganglion sensory neurons. In spinal cord motor neurons, isoflurane, but not F6 or F8, inhibited currents through CaV1 channels. Isoflurane and at least one of the nonimmobilizers inhibited currents through CaV1 and CaV2 channels in dorsal root ganglion neurons and CaV2 in spinal cord motor neurons. The findings that isoflurane, but not nonimmobilizers, inhibited CaV1 Ca²⁺ channels in spinal cord motor neurons are consistent with the notion that spinal cord motor neurons might mediate isoflurane-induced immobility. Additional studies are required to examine whether inhibition of CaV1 calcium currents in spinal cord motor neurons is sufficient or whether actions on other channels/proteins contribute to isoflurane-induced immobility.

  18. Loss of somatosensory evoked potentials during intramedullary spinal cord surgery predicts postoperative neurologic deficits in motor function [corrected].

    PubMed

    Kearse, L A; Lopez-Bresnahan, M; McPeck, K; Tambe, V

    1993-01-01

    To estimate the sensitivity and specificity of somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) for predicting new postoperative motor neurologic deficits during intramedullary spinal cord surgery; to establish whether SSEPs more accurately predicted postoperative deficits in position and vibration sense than in strength. Prospective open and retrospective study. University-affiliated hospital. 20 patients with intramedullary spinal cord tumors scheduled for surgery with intraoperative SSEPs. Median, ulnar, and tibial nerve cortical and subcortical SSEPs were recorded continuously. Conventional intraoperative SSEP criteria considered indicative of neurologic injury were modified and defined as either the complete and permanent loss of the SSEP or the simultaneous amplitude reduction of 50% or greater in the nearest recording electrode rostral to the surgical site and 0.5 millisecond increase in the central latency. Our definition required confirmation of both amplitude and latency changes on a repeated average. All patients had 1 or more SSEPs, which were reproducible and sufficiently stable for analysis throughout the operation. Six patients developed new postoperative neurologic deficits. One had new motor deficits in an extremity from which no baseline SSEPs could be elicited. In each of the other 5 patients, significant SSEP changes preceded the postoperative motor deficits in the extremity or extremities monitored. In no patient without a new postoperative motor deficit was there a significant change in the SSEP. In only 2 of these 5 patients was there a documented postoperative loss or diminution in vibration or position sense. Intraoperative SSEP changes during intramedullary spinal cord surgery are a sensitive predictor of new postoperative motor deficits, but such changes may not correlate reliably with postoperative deficits in position or vibration sense. In this setting SSEP monitoring serves primarily to reassure the operating team that, when the SSEPs remain

  19. Degeneration of Phrenic Motor Neurons Induces Long-Term Diaphragm Deficits following Mid-Cervical Spinal Contusion in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Nicaise, Charles; Putatunda, Rajarshi; Hala, Tamara J.; Regan, Kathleen A.; Frank, David M.; Brion, Jean-Pierre; Leroy, Karelle; Pochet, Roland; Wright, Megan C.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract A primary cause of morbidity and mortality following cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) is respiratory compromise, regardless of the level of trauma. In particular, SCI at mid-cervical regions targets degeneration of both descending bulbospinal respiratory axons and cell bodies of phrenic motor neurons, resulting in deficits in the function of the diaphragm, the primary muscle of inspiration. Contusion-type trauma to the cervical spinal cord is one of the most common forms of human SCI; however, few studies have evaluated mid-cervical contusion in animal models or characterized consequent histopathological and functional effects of degeneration of phrenic motor neuron–diaphragm circuitry. We have generated a mouse model of cervical contusion SCI that unilaterally targets both C4 and C5 levels, the location of the phrenic motor neuron pool, and have examined histological and functional outcomes for up to 6 weeks post-injury. We report that phrenic motor neuron loss in cervical spinal cord, phrenic nerve axonal degeneration, and denervation at diaphragm neuromuscular junctions (NMJ) resulted in compromised ipsilateral diaphragm function, as demonstrated by persistent reduction in diaphragm compound muscle action potential amplitudes following phrenic nerve stimulation and abnormalities in spontaneous diaphragm electromyography (EMG) recordings. This injury paradigm is reproducible, does not require ventilatory assistance, and provides proof-of-principle that generation of unilateral cervical contusion is a feasible strategy for modeling diaphragmatic/respiratory deficits in mice. This study and its accompanying analyses pave the way for using transgenic mouse technology to explore the function of specific genes in the pathophysiology of phrenic motor neuron degeneration and respiratory dysfunction following cervical SCI. PMID:23176637

  20. The response to paired motor cortical stimuli is abolished at a spinal level during human muscle fatigue.

    PubMed

    McNeil, Chris J; Martin, Peter G; Gandevia, Simon C; Taylor, Janet L

    2009-12-01

    During maximal exercise, supraspinal fatigue contributes significantly to the decline in muscle performance but little is known about intracortical inhibition during such contractions. Long-interval inhibition is produced by a conditioning motor cortical stimulus delivered via transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) 50-200 ms prior to a second test stimulus. We aimed to delineate changes in this inhibition during a sustained maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). Eight subjects performed a 2 min MVC of elbow flexors. Single test and paired (conditioning-test interval of 100 ms) stimuli were delivered via TMS over the motor cortex every 7-8 s throughout the effort and during intermittent MVCs in the recovery period. To determine the role of spinal mechanisms, the protocol was repeated but the TMS test stimulus was replaced by cervicomedullary stimulation which activates the corticospinal tract. TMS motor evoked potentials (MEPs) and cervicomedullary motor evoked potentials (CMEPs) were recorded from biceps brachii. Unconditioned MEPs increased progressively with fatigue, whereas CMEPs increased initially but returned to the control value in the final 40 s of contraction. In contrast, both conditioned MEPs and CMEPs decreased rapidly with fatigue and were virtually abolished within 30 s. In recovery, unconditioned responses required <30 s but conditioned MEPs and CMEPs required 90 s to return to control levels. Thus, long-interval inhibition increased markedly as fatigue progressed. Contrary to expectations, subcortically evoked CMEPs were inhibited as much as MEPs. This new phenomenon was also observed in the first dorsal interosseous muscle. Tested with a high intensity conditioning stimulus during a fatiguing maximal effort, long-interval inhibition of MEPs was increased primarily by spinal rather than motor cortical mechanisms. The spinal mechanisms exposed here may contribute to the development of central fatigue in human muscles.

  1. Keratan Sulfate Regulates the Switch from Motor Neuron to Oligodendrocyte Generation During Development of the Mouse Spinal Cord.

    PubMed

    Hashimoto, Hirokazu; Ishino, Yugo; Jiang, Wen; Yoshimura, Takeshi; Takeda-Uchimura, Yoshiko; Uchimura, Kenji; Kadomatsu, Kenji; Ikenaka, Kazuhiro

    2016-02-01

    Keratan sulfate (KS) is a sulfated glycosaminoglycan and has been shown to bind to sonic hedgehog (Shh), which act as a morphogen to regulate the embryonic spinal cord development. We found highly sulfated KS was present in the floor plate (including lateral floor plate) and the notochord . This expression colocalized with Shh expression. To understand the roles of KS, we analyzed the embryonic spinal cord of GlcNAc6ST-1, KS chain synthesizing enzyme, knock-out (KO) mice. At E12.5, the pMN domain, whose formation is controlled by Shh signaling, became shifted ventrally in GlcNAc6ST-1 KO mice. In addition, the expression patterns of Patched1 and Gli1, two Shh signaling reporter genes, differed between wild type (WT) and GlcNAc6ST-1 KO mice at E12.5. Next, we focused on cell types generated from the pMN domain; namely, motor neurons and subsequently oligodendrocytes. The number of PDGFRα(+) [a marker for oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs)] cells was low in the E12.5 mutant spinal cord, while motor neuron production was increased. Thus the switch from motor neuron generation to OPC generation was delayed in the pMN domain. Furthermore, we investigated the cause for this delayed switch in the pMN domain. The number of Olig2, Nkx2.2 double-positive cells was less in GlcNAc6ST-1 KO mice than in WT mice. In contrast, the number of Olig2, Neurogenin2 (Ngn2) double-positive cells related to the motor neuron specification was significantly greater in the KO mice. These results indicate that KS is important for the late phase Shh signaling and contributes to motor neuron to OPC generation switch.

  2. Endolysosomal Deficits Augment Mitochondria Pathology in Spinal Motor Neurons of Asymptomatic fALS Mice

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Yuxiang; Zhou, Bing; Lin, Mei-Yao; Wang, Shiwei; Foust, Kevin D.; Sheng, Zu-Hang

    2015-01-01

    One pathological hallmark in ALS motor neurons (MNs) is axonal accumulation of damaged mitochondria. A fundamental question remains: does reduced degradation of those mitochondria by impaired autophagy-lysosomal system contribute to mitochondrial pathology? Here, we reveal MN-targeted progressive lysosomal deficits accompanied by impaired autophagic degradation beginning at asymptomatic stages in fALS-linked hSOD1G93A mice. Lysosomal deficits result in accumulation of autophagic vacuoles engulfing damaged mitochondria along MN axons. Live imaging of spinal MNs from the adult disease mice demonstrates impaired dynein-driven retrograde transport of late endosomes (LEs). Expressing dynein-adaptor snapin reverses transport defects by competing with hSOD1G93A for binding dynein, thus rescuing autophagy-lysosomal deficits, enhancing mitochondria turnover, improving MN survival, and ameliorating the disease phenotype in hSOD1G93A mice. Our study provides a new mechanistic link for hSOD1G93A-mediated impairment of LE transport to autophagy-lysosome deficits and mitochondria pathology. Understanding these early pathological events benefits development of new therapeutic interventions for fALS-linked MN degeneration. PMID:26182418

  3. Endolysosomal Deficits Augment Mitochondria Pathology in Spinal Motor Neurons of Asymptomatic fALS Mice.

    PubMed

    Xie, Yuxiang; Zhou, Bing; Lin, Mei-Yao; Wang, Shiwei; Foust, Kevin D; Sheng, Zu-Hang

    2015-07-15

    One pathological hallmark in ALS motor neurons (MNs) is axonal accumulation of damaged mitochondria. A fundamental question remains: does reduced degradation of those mitochondria by an impaired autophagy-lysosomal system contribute to mitochondrial pathology? We reveal MN-targeted progressive lysosomal deficits accompanied by impaired autophagic degradation beginning at asymptomatic stages in fALS-linked hSOD1(G93A) mice. Lysosomal deficits result in accumulation of autophagic vacuoles engulfing damaged mitochondria along MN axons. Live imaging of spinal MNs from the adult disease mice demonstrates impaired dynein-driven retrograde transport of late endosomes (LEs). Expressing dynein-adaptor snapin reverses transport defects by competing with hSOD1(G93A) for binding dynein, thus rescuing autophagy-lysosomal deficits, enhancing mitochondrial turnover, improving MN survival, and ameliorating the disease phenotype in hSOD1(G93A) mice. Our study provides a new mechanistic link for hSOD1(G93A)-mediated impairment of LE transport to autophagy-lysosomal deficits and mitochondrial pathology. Understanding these early pathological events benefits development of new therapeutic interventions for fALS-linked MN degeneration. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Spinal NMDA receptor activation constrains inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation in Charles River Sprague-Dawley rats

    PubMed Central

    Streeter, K. A.

    2014-01-01

    Reduced spinal synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons elicit a unique form of spinal plasticity known as inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation (iPMF). iPMF requires tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) activity within spinal segments containing the phrenic motor nucleus to stabilize early, transient increases in phrenic burst amplitude into long-lasting iPMF. Here we tested the hypothesis that spinal N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) activation constrains long-lasting iPMF in some rat substrains. Phrenic motor output was recorded in anesthetized, ventilated Harlan (HSD) and Charles River (CRSD) Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to a 30-min central neural apnea. HSD rats expressed a robust, long-lasting (>60 min) increase in phrenic burst amplitude (i.e., long-lasting iPMF) when respiratory neural activity was restored. By contrast, CRSD rats expressed an attenuated, transient (∼15 min) iPMF. Spinal NMDAR inhibition with DL-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (APV) before neural apnea or shortly (4 min) prior to the resumption of respiratory neural activity revealed long-lasting iPMF in CRSD rats that was phenotypically similar to that in HSD rats. By contrast, APV did not alter iPMF expression in HSD rats. Spinal TNF-α or aPKC inhibition impaired long-lasting iPMF enabled by NMDAR inhibition in CRSD rats, suggesting that similar mechanisms give rise to long-lasting iPMF in CRSD rats with NMDAR inhibition as those giving rise to long-lasting iPMF in HSD rats. These results suggest that NMDAR activation can impose constraints on TNF-α-induced aPKC activation after neural apnea, impairing stabilization of transient iPMF into long-lasting iPMF. These data may have important implications for understanding differential responses to reduced respiratory neural activity in a heterogeneous human population. PMID:25103979

  5. PlexinA3 restricts spinal exit points and branching of trunk motor nerves in embryonic zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Feldner, Julia; Reimer, Michell M; Schweitzer, Jörn; Wendik, Björn; Meyer, Dirk; Becker, Thomas; Becker, Catherina G

    2007-05-02

    The pioneering primary motor axons in the zebrafish trunk are guided by multiple cues along their pathways. Plexins are receptor components for semaphorins that influence motor axon growth and path finding. We cloned plexinA3 in zebrafish and localized plexinA3 mRNA in primary motor neurons during axon outgrowth. Antisense morpholino knock-down led to substantial errors in motor axon growth. Errors comprised aberrant branching of primary motor nerves as well as additional exit points of axons from the spinal cord. Excessively branched and supernumerary nerves were found in both ventral and dorsal pathways of motor axons. The trunk environment and several other types of axons, including trigeminal axons, were not detectably affected by plexinA3 knock-down. RNA overexpression rescued all morpholino effects. Synergistic effects of combined morpholino injections indicate interactions of plexinA3 with semaphorin3A homologs. Thus, plexinA3 is a crucial receptor for axon guidance cues in primary motor neurons.

  6. Reorganization of Cajal bodies and nucleolar targeting of coilin in motor neurons of type I spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Tapia, Olga; Bengoechea, Rocío; Palanca, Ana; Arteaga, Rosa; Val-Bernal, J Fernando; Tizzano, Eduardo F; Berciano, María T; Lafarga, Miguel

    2012-05-01

    Type I spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by loss or mutations of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. The reduction in SMN protein levels in SMA leads to degeneration and death of motor neurons. In this study, we have analyzed the nuclear reorganization of Cajal bodies, PML bodies and nucleoli in type I SMA motor neurons with homozygous deletion of exons 7 and 8 of the SMN1 gene. Western blot analysis is is revealed a marked reduction of SMN levels compared to the control sample. Using a neuronal dissociation procedure to perform a careful immunocytochemical and quantitative analysis of nuclear bodies, we demonstrated a severe decrease in the mean number of Cajal bodies per neuron and in the proportion of motor neurons containing these structures in type I SMA. Moreover, most Cajal bodies fail to recruit SMN and spliceosomal snRNPs, but contain the proteasome activator PA28, a molecular marker associated with the cellular stress response. Neuronal stress in SMA motor neurons also increases PML body number. The existence of chromatolysis and eccentric nuclei in SMA motor neurons correlates with Cajal body disruption and nucleolar relocalization of coil in, a Cajal body marker. Our results indicate that the Cajal body is a pathophysiological target in type I SMA motor neurons. They also suggest the Cajal body-dependent dysfunction of snRNP biogenesis and, therefore, pre-mRNA splicing in these neurons seems to be an essential component for SMA pathogenesis.

  7. Defects in Neuromuscular Transmission May Underlie Motor Dysfunction in Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Youfen; Halievski, Katherine; Henley, Casey; Atchison, William D.; Katsuno, Masahisa; Adachi, Hiroaki; Sobue, Gen; Breedlove, S. Marc

    2016-01-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) in men is an androgen-dependent neuromuscular disease caused by expanded CAG repeats in the androgen receptor (AR). Whether muscle or motor neuron dysfunction or both underlies motor impairment in SBMA is unknown. Muscles of SBMA mice show significant contractile dysfunction, implicating them as a likely source of motor dysfunction, but whether disease also impairs neuromuscular transmission is an open question. Thus, we examined synaptic function in three well-studied SBMA mouse models—the AR97Q, knock-in (KI), and myogenic141 models—by recording in vitro miniature and evoked end-plate potentials (MEPPs and EPPs, respectively) intracellularly from adult muscle fibers. We found striking defects in neuromuscular transmission suggesting that toxic AR in SBMA impairs both presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms. Notably, SBMA causes neuromuscular synapses to become weak and muscles to become hyperexcitable in all three models. Presynaptic defects included deficits in quantal content, reduced size of the readily releasable pool, and impaired short-term facilitation. Postsynaptic defects included prolonged decay times for both MEPPs and EPPs, marked resistance to μ-conotoxin (a sodium channel blocker), and enhanced membrane excitability. Quantitative PCR revealed robust upregulation of mRNAs encoding neonatal isoforms of the AChR (γ-subunit) and the voltage-gated sodium channel (NaV1.5) in diseased adult muscles of all three models, consistent with the observed slowing of synaptic potentials and resistance to μ-conotoxin. These findings suggest that muscles of SBMA patients regress to an immature state that impairs neuromuscular function. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We have discovered that SBMA is accompanied by marked defects in neuromuscular synaptic transmission involving both presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms. For three different mouse models, we find that diseased synapses are weak, having reduced quantal content

  8. Defects in Neuromuscular Transmission May Underlie Motor Dysfunction in Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Xu, Youfen; Halievski, Katherine; Henley, Casey; Atchison, William D; Katsuno, Masahisa; Adachi, Hiroaki; Sobue, Gen; Breedlove, S Marc; Jordan, Cynthia L

    2016-05-04

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) in men is an androgen-dependent neuromuscular disease caused by expanded CAG repeats in the androgen receptor (AR). Whether muscle or motor neuron dysfunction or both underlies motor impairment in SBMA is unknown. Muscles of SBMA mice show significant contractile dysfunction, implicating them as a likely source of motor dysfunction, but whether disease also impairs neuromuscular transmission is an open question. Thus, we examined synaptic function in three well-studied SBMA mouse models-the AR97Q, knock-in (KI), and myogenic141 models-by recording in vitro miniature and evoked end-plate potentials (MEPPs and EPPs, respectively) intracellularly from adult muscle fibers. We found striking defects in neuromuscular transmission suggesting that toxic AR in SBMA impairs both presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms. Notably, SBMA causes neuromuscular synapses to become weak and muscles to become hyperexcitable in all three models. Presynaptic defects included deficits in quantal content, reduced size of the readily releasable pool, and impaired short-term facilitation. Postsynaptic defects included prolonged decay times for both MEPPs and EPPs, marked resistance to μ-conotoxin (a sodium channel blocker), and enhanced membrane excitability. Quantitative PCR revealed robust upregulation of mRNAs encoding neonatal isoforms of the AChR (γ-subunit) and the voltage-gated sodium channel (NaV1.5) in diseased adult muscles of all three models, consistent with the observed slowing of synaptic potentials and resistance to μ-conotoxin. These findings suggest that muscles of SBMA patients regress to an immature state that impairs neuromuscular function. We have discovered that SBMA is accompanied by marked defects in neuromuscular synaptic transmission involving both presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms. For three different mouse models, we find that diseased synapses are weak, having reduced quantal content due to reductions in the size

  9. Delta-opioid receptor (DOR) activation prolongs respiratory motor output during oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) in neonatal rat spinal cord in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Sara M. F.; Johnson, Stephen M.

    2011-01-01

    Delta opioid receptor (DOR) activation protects the adult mammalian brain during oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD), but it is not known whether neonatal spinal motor circuits are also protected. Also, it is unclear whether the timing of spinal DOR activation relative to spinal OGD is important for neuroprotection. Thus, a split-bath in vitro neonatal rat brainstem/spinal cord preparation was used to record spontaneous respiratory motor output from cervical (C4-C5) and thoracic (T5-T6) ventral spinal roots while exposing only the spinal cord to OGD solution (0 mM glucose, bubbled with 95% N2 / 5% CO2) or DOR agonist drugs (DADLE, DPDPE). Spinal OGD solution application caused respiratory motor output frequency and amplitude to decrease until all activity was abolished (i.e., end-point times) after 25.9 ± 1.4 min (cervical) and 25.2 ± 1.4 min (thoracic). Spinal DOR activation via DPDPE (1.0 μM) prior-to and during spinal OGD increased cervical and thoracic end-point times to 35-48 min. Spinal DADLE or DPDPE (1.0 μM) application 15 min following spinal OGD onset increased cervical and thoracic end-point times to 36-45 min. Brief spinal DPDPE (1.0 μM) application for 10 min at 25 min before spinal OGD onset increased cervical and thoracic end-point times to 41-46 min. Overall, the selective DOR agonist, DPDPE, was more effective at increasing end-point times than DADLE. Naltrindole (DOR antagonist; 10 μM) pretreatment blocked DPDPE-dependent increase in end-point times, suggesting that DOR activation was required. Spinal naloxone (1.0 μM) application before and during spinal OGD also increased end-point times to 31-33 min, but end-point times were not altered by MOR activation or DOR activation/MOR blockade, indicating that there are complex interactions between OGD and opioid signaling pathways. These data suggest DOR activation before, during, and after spinal OGD protects central motor networks and may provide neuroprotection during unpredictable perinatal

  10. Targeted axonal import (TAxI) peptide delivers functional proteins into spinal cord motor neurons after peripheral administration

    PubMed Central

    Sellers, Drew L.; Bergen, Jamie M.; Johnson, Russell N.; Back, Heidi; Ravits, John M.; Horner, Philip J.; Pun, Suzie H.

    2016-01-01

    A significant unmet need in treating neurodegenerative disease is effective methods for delivery of biologic drugs, such as peptides, proteins, or nucleic acids into the central nervous system (CNS). To date, there are no operative technologies for the delivery of macromolecular drugs to the CNS via peripheral administration routes. Using an in vivo phage-display screen, we identify a peptide, targeted axonal import (TAxI), that enriched recombinant bacteriophage accumulation and delivered protein cargo into spinal cord motor neurons after intramuscular injection. In animals with transected peripheral nerve roots, TAxI delivery into motor neurons after peripheral administration was inhibited, suggesting a retrograde axonal transport mechanism for delivery into the CNS. Notably, TAxI-Cre recombinase fusion proteins induced selective recombination and tdTomato-reporter expression in motor neurons after intramuscular injections. Furthermore, TAxI peptide was shown to label motor neurons in the human tissue. The demonstration of a nonviral-mediated delivery of functional proteins into the spinal cord establishes the clinical potential of this technology for minimally invasive administration of CNS-targeted therapeutics. PMID:26888285

  11. Targeted axonal import (TAxI) peptide delivers functional proteins into spinal cord motor neurons after peripheral administration.

    PubMed

    Sellers, Drew L; Bergen, Jamie M; Johnson, Russell N; Back, Heidi; Ravits, John M; Horner, Philip J; Pun, Suzie H

    2016-03-01

    A significant unmet need in treating neurodegenerative disease is effective methods for delivery of biologic drugs, such as peptides, proteins, or nucleic acids into the central nervous system (CNS). To date, there are no operative technologies for the delivery of macromolecular drugs to the CNS via peripheral administration routes. Using an in vivo phage-display screen, we identify a peptide, targeted axonal import (TAxI), that enriched recombinant bacteriophage accumulation and delivered protein cargo into spinal cord motor neurons after intramuscular injection. In animals with transected peripheral nerve roots, TAxI delivery into motor neurons after peripheral administration was inhibited, suggesting a retrograde axonal transport mechanism for delivery into the CNS. Notably, TAxI-Cre recombinase fusion proteins induced selective recombination and tdTomato-reporter expression in motor neurons after intramuscular injections. Furthermore, TAxI peptide was shown to label motor neurons in the human tissue. The demonstration of a nonviral-mediated delivery of functional proteins into the spinal cord establishes the clinical potential of this technology for minimally invasive administration of CNS-targeted therapeutics.

  12. Motor imagery in spinal cord injured people is modulated by somatotopic coding, perspective taking, and post-lesional chronic pain.

    PubMed

    Scandola, Michele; Aglioti, Salvatore M; Pozeg, Polona; Avesani, Renato; Moro, Valentina

    2017-09-01

    Motor imagery (MI) allows one to mentally represent an action without necessarily performing it. Importantly, however, MI is profoundly influenced by the ability to actually execute actions, as demonstrated by the impairment of this ability as a consequence of lesions in motor cortices, limb amputations, movement limiting chronic pain, and spinal cord injury. Understanding MI and its deficits in patients with motor limitations is fundamentally important as development of some brain-computer interfaces and daily life strategies for coping with motor disorders are based on this ability. We explored MI in a large sample of patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) using a comprehensive battery of questionnaires to assess the ability to imagine actions from a first-person or a third-person perspective and also imagine the proprioceptive components of actions. Moreover, we correlated MI skills with personality measures and clinical variables such as the level and completeness of the lesion and the presence of chronic pain. We found that the MI deficits (1) concerned the body parts affected by deafferentation and deefferentation, (2) were present in first- but not in third-person perspectives, and (3) were more altered in the presence of chronic pain. MI is thus closely related to bodily perceptions and representations. Every attempt to devise tools and trainings aimed at improving autonomy needs to consider the cognitive changes due to the body-brain disconnection. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.

  13. Neuronal injury increases retrograde axonal transport of the neurotrophins to spinal sensory neurons and motor neurons via multiple receptor mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Curtis, R; Tonra, J R; Stark, J L; Adryan, K M; Park, J S; Cliffer, K D; Lindsay, R M; DiStefano, P S

    1998-10-01

    We investigated the retrograde axonal transport of 125I-labeled neurotrophins (NGF, BDNF, NT-3, and NT-4) from the sciatic nerve to dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neurons and spinal motor neurons in normal rats or after neuronal injury. DRG neurons showed increased transport of all neurotrophins following crush injury to the sciatic nerve. This was maximal 1 day after sciatic nerve crush and returned to control levels after 7 days. 125I-BDNF transport from sciatic nerve was elevated with injection either proximal to the lesion or directly into the crush site and after transection of the dorsal roots. All neurotrophin transport was receptor-mediated and consistent with neurotrophin binding to the low-affinity neurotrophin receptor (LNR) or Trk receptors. However, transport of 125I-labeled wheat germ agglutinin also increased 1 day after sciatic nerve crush, showing that increased uptake and transport is a generalized response to injury in DRG sensory neurons. Spinal cord motor neurons also showed increased neurotrophin transport following sciatic nerve injury, although this was maximal after 3 days. The transport of 125I-NGF depended on the expression of LNR by injured motor neurons, as demonstrated by competition experiments with unlabeled neurotrophins. The absence of TrkA in normal motor neurons or after axotomy was confirmed by immunostaining and in situ hybridization. Thus, increased transport of neurotrophic factors after neuronal injury is due to multiple receptor-mediated mechanisms including general increases in axonal transport capacity. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  14. In vitro methods for the analysis of motor function in the developing spinal cord of the chick embryo.

    PubMed

    O'Donovan, M J

    1987-10-01

    The isolated spinal cord of the chick embryo spontaneously generates episodes of motor activity in vitro that can be recorded from muscle nerves and ventral roots. In vitro systems provide stable conditions for intra- and extra-cellular recordings and enable pharmacological and ionic manipulations of the neuronal environment. Studies of motor activity generated by isolated spinal cord have revealed the existence of co-ordinated motor output from early in development, in which antagonist motoneurons alternate in their activity and synergists are co-active. Intra-cellular recordings from single neurons and electronic recordings from muscle nerves have provided insight into the mechanism of flexor and extensor alternation. These studies have revealed that flexor and extensor motoneurons receive a similar de-polarization during each cycle of motor activity, but that the two classes of motoneuron process the de-polarization differently. Flexors fire late in each cycle whereas extensors fire early, which leads to a pattern of alternation. The cellular mechanisms responsible for the differences in the firing behavior of flexor and extensor motoneurons are currently being investigated using techniques that are only possible using the in vitro preparation.

  15. Severe motor neuron degeneration in the spinal cord of the Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Seo, Ji-Seon; Leem, Yea-Hyun; Lee, Kang-Woo; Kim, Seung-Woo; Lee, Ja-Kyeong; Han, Pyung-Lim

    2010-01-01

    The transgenic mouse Tg2576 is widely used as a murine model of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and exhibits plaque pathogenesis in the brain and progressive memory impairments. Here we report that Tg2576 mice also have severe spinal cord deficits. At 10 months of age, Tg2576 mice showed a severe defect in the hindlimb extension reflex test and abnormal body trembling and hindlimb tremors when suspended by the tail. The frequency and severity of these abnormalities were overt at 10 months of age and became gradually worsened. On the foot-printing analysis, Tg2576 mice had shorter and narrower strides than the non-transgenic control. Histological analyses showed that neuronal cells including cholinergic neurons in the lumbar cord of Tg2576 mice were severely reduced in number. At 16 months of age, Tg2576 mice showed high levels of amyloid-beta accumulation in the spinal cord. Consistent with this, Tg2576 mice showed that lipid peroxidation levels were increased and mitochondrial metabolic activity were significantly reduced in the spinal cord. Administration of curcumin, a natural compound that has antioxidant properties, notably reversed motor function deficits of Tg2576 mice. The enhanced lipid peroxidation and neuronal loss in the lumbar cord was also partially suppressed by curcumin. Electron microscopic analysis revealed that the sciatic nerve fibers were severely reduced in number and were demyelinated in Tg2576 mice, which were partially rescued by curcumin. These results showed that Tg2576 mice display severe degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord and associated motor function deficits.

  16. Identification of gangliosides recognized by IgG anti-GalNAc-GD1a antibodies in bovine spinal motor neurons and motor nerves.

    PubMed

    Yoshino, Hiide; Ariga, Toshio; Suzuki, Akemi; Yu, Robert K; Miyatake, Tadashi

    2008-08-28

    The presence of immunoglobulin G (IgG)-type antibodies to the ganglioside, N-acetylgalactosaminyl GD1a (GalNAc-GD1a), is closely associated with the pure motor type of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). In the present study, we isolated disialogangliosides from the motor neurons and motor nerves of bovine spinal cords by DEAE-Sephadex column chromatography. The disialoganglioside fraction contained GD1a, GD2, GD1b, and three gangliosides, designated X1, X2 and X3. Serum from a patient with axonal GBS with IgG anti-GalNAc-GD1a antibody yielded positive immunostaining with X1, X2, and X3. When isolated by preparative thin-layer chromatography (TLC), X1 migrated at the same position as GalNAc-GD1a from Tay-Sachs brain, suggesting that X1 is GalNAc-GD1a containing N-acetylneuraminic acid (NeuAc). TLC of isolated X2 revealed that it migrated between GD1a and GD2. On the other hand, X3 had a migratory rate on TLC between and GD1b and GT1b. Since both X2 and X3 were recognized by IgG anti-GalNAc-GD1a antibody, the results suggest that X2 is a GalNAc-GD1a species containing a mixture containing a NeuAc-and an N-glycolylneuraminic acid (NeuGc) species, and X3 is a GalNAc-GD1a species with two NeuGc. This evidence indicating the specific localization of GalNAc-GD1a and its isomers in spinal motor neurons should be useful in elucidating the pathogenic role of IgG anti-GalNAc-GD1a antibody in pure motor-type GBS.

  17. The role of the ipsilateral primary motor cortex in movement control after spinal cord injury: a TMS study.

    PubMed

    Nardone, Raffaele; Höller, Yvonne; Höller, Peter; Thon, Natasha; Thomschewski, Aljoscha; Brigo, Francesco; Trinka, Eugen

    2013-09-27

    Previous neuroimaging studies raised the hypothesis that enhanced activity in the ipsilateral motor cortex (M1) plays a contributing role in the compensation for the motor deficits resulting from a spinal cord injury (SCI). However, it is still unknown whether the activity in the ipsilateral M1 directly contributes to movement performance after SCI. To address this question, we evaluated in five subjects with chronic incomplete cervical SCI the effects of suprathreshold transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to both hemispheres when a movement of the right and left hand was performed separately in the setting of a simple reaction time. We found that stimulation of each hemisphere resulted in delayed simple reaction times in the contralateral but not in the ipsilateral hand. These observations provide the first direct evidence in humans that the ipsilateral M1 did not contribute significantly to motor task performance after SCI.

  18. Transoesophageal spinal cord stimulation for motor-evoked potentials monitoring: feasibility, safety and stability.

    PubMed

    Tsuda, Kazumasa; Shiiya, Norihiko; Takahashi, Daisuke; Ohkura, Kazuhiro; Yamashita, Katsushi; Kando, Yumi

    2015-08-01

    Specificity of transcranial motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) is low because amplitude fluctuation is common, which seems due to several technical and fundamental reasons including difficulty in electrodes positioning and fixation for transcranial stimulation and susceptibility to anaesthesia. This study aimed to investigate the feasibility, safety and stability of our novel technique of transoesophageal spinal cord stimulation to improve the stability of MEPs. Ten anaesthetized adult beagle dogs were used. Transoesophageal stimulation was performed between the oesophageal luminal surface electrode (cathode) and a subcutaneous needle electrode (anode) at the fourth to fifth thoracic vertebra level. Stimulation was achieved with a train of five pulses delivered at 2.0-ms intervals. Compound muscle action potentials were recorded from four limbs and external anal sphincter muscles. Stability to anaesthetic agents was tested at varying speeds of propofol and remifentanil, and effects of varying concentration of sevoflurane inhalation were also evaluated. Transoesophageal MEPs could be recorded without difficulty in all dogs. Fluoroscopic evaluation showed that electrodes misalignment up to 5 cm cranially or caudally could be tolerated. Stimulus intensity to achieve maximum amplitude of hindlimb muscle potentials on both sides was significantly lower by transoesophageal stimulation than by transcranial stimulation (383 ± 41 vs 533 ± 121 V, P = 0.02) and had less interindividual variability. Latency of transoesophageal MEPs was shorter than that of transcranial MEPs at every recording point. No arrhythmia was provoked during stimulation. Animals that were allowed to recover showed no neurological abnormality. In the two sacrificed animals, the explanted oesophagus showed no mucosal injury. Stability to varying dose of anaesthetic agents was similar between transoesophageal and transcranial stimulation, except for the potentials of forelimbs by transoesophageal

  19. The effects of excitatory amino acids and their antagonists on the generation of motor activity in the isolated chick spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Barry, M J; O'Donovan, M J

    1987-12-01

    We have investigated the action of excitatory amino acids and their antagonists on spontaneous motor activity produced by an isolated preparation of the chick lumbosacral cord. Bath application of N-methyl-DL-aspartic acid (NMDA) or D-glutamate increased the occurrence and duration of spontaneous episodes of motor activity. Both NMDA-induced and spontaneous activity were reversibly inhibited by several excitatory amino acid antagonists including 2-amino-5-phosphono valeric acid and gamma-D-glutamyl glycine in a dose-dependent manner. These results suggest that motor activity in the chick spinal cord may be regulated by the release of endogenous excitatory amino acids from spinal interneurons.

  20. Time-related changes of motor unit properties in the rat medial gastrocnemius muscle after the spinal cord injury. II. Effects of a spinal cord hemisection.

    PubMed

    Celichowski, Jan; Kryściak, Katarzyna; Krutki, Piotr; Majczyński, Henryk; Górska, Teresa; Sławińska, Urszula

    2010-06-01

    The contractile properties of motor units (MUs) were investigated in the medial gastrocnemius (MG) muscle in rats after the spinal cord hemisection at a low thoracic level. Hemisected animals were divided into 4 groups: 14, 30, 90 and 180 days after injury. Intact rats formed a control group. The mass of the MG muscle did not change significantly after spinal cord hemisection, hind limb locomotor pattern was almost unchanged starting from two weeks after injury, but contractile properties of MUs were however altered. Contraction time (CT) and half-relaxation time (HRT) of MUs were prolonged in all investigated groups of hemisected rats. The twitch-to-tetanus ratio (Tw/Tet) of fast MUs after the spinal cord hemisection increased. For slow MUs Tw/Tet values did not change in the early stage after the injury, but significantly decreased in rats 90 and 180 days after hemisection. As a result of hemisection the fatigue resistance especially of slow and fast resistant MU types was reduced, as well as fatigue index (Fat I) calculated for the whole examined population of MUs decreased progressively with the time. After spinal cord hemisection a reduced number of fast MUs presented the sag at frequencies 30 and 40 Hz, however more of them revealed sag in 20 Hz tetanus in comparison to control group. Due to considerable changes in twitch contraction time and disappearance of sag effect in unfused tetani of some MUs in hemisected animals, the classification of MUs in all groups of rats was based on the 20 Hz tetanus index (20 Hz Tet I) but not on the standard criteria usually applied for MUs classification. MU type differentiations demonstrated some clear changes in MG muscle composition in hemisected animals consisting of an increase in the proportion of slow MUs (likely due to an increased participation of the studied muscle in tonic antigravity activity) together with an increase in the percentage of fast fatigable MUs.

  1. The effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation and patterned electrical stimulation on spinal inhibitory interneurons and motor function in patients with spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Tomofumi; Fujiwara, Toshiyuki; Tsai, Yun-An; Tang, Shuen-Chang; Kawakami, Michiyuki; Mizuno, Katsuhiro; Kodama, Mitsuhiko; Masakado, Yoshihisa; Liu, Meigen

    2016-06-01

    Supraspinal excitability and sensory input may play an important role for the modulation of spinal inhibitory interneurons and functional recovery among patients with incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI). Here, we investigated the effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) combined with patterned electrical stimulation (PES) on spinal inhibitory interneurons in patients with chronic incomplete SCI and in healthy individuals. Eleven patients with incomplete SCI and ten healthy adults participated in a single-masked, sham-controlled crossover study. PES involved stimulating the common peroneal nerve with a train of ten 100 Hz pulses every 2 s for 20 min. Anodal tDCS (1 mA) was simultaneously applied to the primary motor cortex that controls the tibialis anterior muscle. We measured reciprocal inhibition and presynaptic inhibition of a soleus H-reflex by stimulating the common peroneal nerve prior to tibial nerve stimulation, which elicits the H-reflex. The inhibition was assessed before, immediately after, 10 min after and 20 min after the stimulation. Compared with baseline, simultaneous application of anodal tDCS with PES significantly increased changes in disynaptic reciprocal inhibition and long-latency presynaptic inhibition in both healthy and SCI groups for at least 20 min after the stimulation (all, p < 0.001). In patients with incomplete SCI, anodal tDCS with PES significantly increased the number of ankle movements in 10 s at 20 min after the stimulation (p = 0.004). In conclusion, anodal tDCS combined with PES could induce spinal plasticity and improve ankle movement in patients with incomplete SCI.

  2. Genetic visualization with an improved GCaMP calcium indicator reveals spatiotemporal activation of the spinal motor neurons in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Muto, Akira; Ohkura, Masamichi; Kotani, Tomoya; Higashijima, Shin-ichi; Nakai, Junichi; Kawakami, Koichi

    2011-01-01

    Animal behaviors are generated by well-coordinated activation of neural circuits. In zebrafish, embryos start to show spontaneous muscle contractions at 17 to 19 h postfertilization. To visualize how motor circuits in the spinal cord are activated during this behavior, we developed GCaMP-HS (GCaMP-hyper sensitive), an improved version of the genetically encoded calcium indicator GCaMP, and created transgenic zebrafish carrying the GCaMP-HS gene downstream of the Gal4-recognition sequence, UAS (upstream activation sequence). Then we performed a gene-trap screen and identified the SAIGFF213A transgenic fish that expressed Gal4FF, a modified version of Gal4, in a subset of spinal neurons including the caudal primary (CaP) motor neurons. We conducted calcium imaging using the SAIGFF213A; UAS:GCaMP-HS double transgenic embryos during the spontaneous contractions. We demonstrated periodic and synchronized activation of a set of ipsilateral motor neurons located on the right and left trunk in accordance with actual muscle movements. The synchronized activation of contralateral motor neurons occurred alternately with a regular interval. Furthermore, a detailed analysis revealed rostral-to-caudal propagation of activation of the ipsilateral motor neuron, which is similar to but much slower than the rostrocaudal delay observed during swimming in later stages. Our study thus demonstrated coordinated activities of the motor neurons during the first behavior in a vertebrate. We propose the GCaMP technology combined with the Gal4FF-UAS system is a powerful tool to study functional neural circuits in zebrafish. PMID:21383146

  3. Responses of thenar muscles to transcranial magnetic stimulation of the motor cortex in patients with incomplete spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Davey, N.; Smith, H.; Wells, E.; Maskill, D.; Savic, G.; Ellaway, P.; Frankel, H.

    1998-01-01

    OBJECTIVE—To investigate changes in electromyographic (EMG) responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the motor cortex after incomplete spinal cord injury in humans.
METHODS—A group of 10 patients with incomplete spinal cord injury (motor level C3-C8) was compared with a group of 10 healthy control subjects. Surface EMG recordings were made from the thenar muscles. TMS was applied with a 9 cm circular stimulating coil centred over the vertex. The EMG responses to up to 50 magnetic stimuli were rectified and averaged.
RESULTS—Thresholds for compound motor evoked potentials (cMEPs) and suppression of voluntary contraction (SVC) elicited by TMS were higher (p<0.05) in the patient group. Latency of cMEPs was longer (p<0.05) in the patient group in both relaxed (controls 21.3 (SEM 0.5) ms; patients 27.7 (SEM 1.3) ms) and voluntarily contracted (controls 19.8 (SEM 0.5) ms; patients 27.6 (SEM 1.3) ms) muscles. The latency of SVC was longer (p<0.05) in the patients (51.8 (SEM 1.8) ms) than in the controls (33.4 (SEM 1.9) ms). The latency difference (SVC−cMEP) was longer in the patients (25.3 (SEM 2.4) ms) than in the controls (13.4 (SEM 1.6) ms).
CONCLUSION—The longer latency difference between cMEPs and SVC in the patients may reflect a weak or absent early component of cortical inhibition. Such a change may contribute to the restoration of useful motor function after incomplete spinal cord injury.

 PMID:9667566

  4. Reduced sensory synaptic excitation impairs motor neuron function via Kv2.1 in spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Emily V; Simon, Christian M; Pagiazitis, John G; Chalif, Joshua I; Vukojicic, Aleksandra; Drobac, Estelle; Wang, Xiaojian; Mentis, George Z

    2017-07-01

    Behavioral deficits in neurodegenerative diseases are often attributed to the selective dysfunction of vulnerable neurons via cell-autonomous mechanisms. Although vulnerable neurons are embedded in neuronal circuits, the contributions of their synaptic partners to disease process are largely unknown. Here we show that, in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a reduction in proprioceptive synaptic drive leads to motor neuron dysfunction and motor behavior impairments. In SMA mice or after the blockade of proprioceptive synaptic transmission, we observed a decrease in the motor neuron firing that could be explained by the reduction in the expression of the potassium channel Kv2.1 at the surface of motor neurons. Chronically increasing neuronal activity pharmacologically in vivo led to a normalization of Kv2.1 expression and an improvement in motor function. Our results demonstrate a key role of excitatory synaptic drive in shaping the function of motor neurons during development and the contribution of its disruption to a neurodegenerative disease.

  5. [Calculation of the strain-deformation condition of the spinal motor segment during loading].

    PubMed

    Chumachenko, E N; Logashina, I V

    2014-01-01

    A mathematical model is proposed to analyze the spinal strain-deformation condition resulting from axial and lateral g-loads generated by changes in the gravity field and/or pilot's maneuvering high-performance aircraft. The solution algorithm takes into account changes in the intervertebral disk pressure and the fibrous ring shape at the time of close-to-critical g values. Calculation of the spinal strain-deformation condition was implemented by the instrumentality of computer system SPLEN (KOMMEK ltd., Russia). Analysis of the spinal strain-deformation condition was made for 2 types of external loads, i.e. normal and unilateral with a bending moment. Maximum permissible loads on a spinal segment were evaluated, as well as distribution of strain intensity, mean strains, spinal deformation and destruction field was described. The constructed computer models could be used as a basis for developing a technique of predicting characteristic spinal injuries in consequence of specific extreme loads and pathologies.

  6. Transcranial direct current stimulation is not effective in the motor strength and gait recovery following motor incomplete spinal cord injury during Lokomat(®) gait training.

    PubMed

    Kumru, Hatice; Murillo, Narda; Benito-Penalva, Jesus; Tormos, Jose M; Vidal, Joan

    2016-05-04

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a potential tool to improve motor recovery in patients with neurological disorders. Safety and efficacy of this procedure for lower extremity motor strengthe and gait function in motor incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI) have not yet been addressed. The aim of this study is to optimize the functional outcome in early phases of gait rehabilitation assisted by Lokomat(®) in motor incomplete SCI patients using tDCS as an additional treatment to physical therapy. We performed in a SCI unit a single-centre randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled study to investigate safety and efficacy of anodal tDCS of over leg motor cortex in motor incomplete SCI patients. Twenty-four SCI patients received either daily sessions of anodal tDCS (n=12) at 2mA for 20min to the vertex (leg motor cortex) during twenty days or sham tDCS (n=12). Motor deficit was assessed by the lower extremity motor score (LEMS) and for gait function: ten meter walking test (10MWT) and Walking Index for SCI (WISCI II) at baseline, after last tDCS session (after 4 weeks of stimulation), and after 8 weeks (from baseline) for follow-up. No side effects were detected during either tDCS or sham. In both groups, there was a significant improvement in LEMS (p<0.03), which did not significantly differ when comparing anodal and sham tDCS groups. During follow-up, in both group 5 of 12 patients could perform gait, without significant differences in gait velocity, cadence, step length and WISCI-II between both groups. Combination twenty sessions of daily tDCS to the leg motor cortex and Lokomat(®) gait training appear to be safe in motor incomplete SCI patients. There was an expected improvement in both LEMS and gait scales however, did not differ between patients treated with anodal or sham tDCS. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Correlation of insulin resistance and motor function in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Nakatsuji, Hideaki; Araki, Amane; Hashizume, Atsushi; Hijikata, Yasuhiro; Yamada, Shinichiro; Inagaki, Tomonori; Suzuki, Keisuke; Banno, Haruhiko; Suga, Noriaki; Okada, Yohei; Ohyama, Manabu; Nakagawa, Tohru; Kishida, Ken; Funahashi, Tohru; Shimomura, Iichiro; Okano, Hideyuki; Katsuno, Masahisa; Sobue, Gen

    2017-02-22

    This study aimed to evaluate various metabolic parameters in patients with spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), to investigate the association between those indices and disease severity, and to explore the underlying molecular pathogenesis. We compared the degree of obesity, metabolic parameters, and blood pressure in 55 genetically confirmed SBMA patients against those in 483 age- and sex-matched healthy control. In SBMA patients, we investigated the correlation between these factors and motor functional indices. SBMA patients had lower body mass index, blood glucose, and Hemoglobin A1c, but higher blood pressure, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR, a marker of insulin resistance), total cholesterol, and adiponectin levels than the control subjects. There were no differences in visceral fat areas, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), or triglyceride levels in two groups. Revised amyotrophic lateral sclerosis functional rating scale (ALSFRS-R) correlated positively with HDL-C, but negatively with HOMA-IR. Through stepwise multiple regression analysis, we identified HOMA-IR as a significant metabolic determinant of ALSFRS-R. In biochemical analysis, we found that decreased expressions of insulin receptors, insulin receptor substrate-1 and insulin receptor-β, in autopsied muscles and fibroblasts of SBMA patients. This study demonstrates that SBMA patients have insulin resistance, which is associated with the disease severity. The expressions of insulin receptors are attenuated in the skeletal muscle of SBMA, providing a possible pathomechanism of metabolic alterations. These findings suggested that insulin resistance is a metabolic index reflecting disease severity and pathogenesis as well as a potential therapeutic target for SBMA.

  8. A two-degree-of-freedom motor-powered gait orthosis for spinal cord injury patients.

    PubMed

    Ohta, Y; Yano, H; Suzuki, R; Yoshida, M; Kawashima, N; Nakazawa, K

    2007-08-01

    A number of orthoses have been developed to restore stance and walking in paraplegic subjects. Compliance, however, has been limited, mainly owing to walking effort. Use of the forces produced by actuators is an effective way to solve the problem of the considerable effort required for orthotic gait, namely high muscular effort and high energy expenditure. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of assistance by external actuators on the orthotic gait of spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. Two kinds of linear actuator were developed by using direct current (d.c.) motors for assisting the knee and hip joint of a gait orthosis. They were mounted on the knee and hip joint of a commercial advanced reciprocating gait orthosis (ARGO), and a new two-degree-of-freedom externally powered gait orthosis was thus developed. The orthosis was assessed through inter-subject experiments on five male adult complete SCI patients. Owing to the short training period available for the assisted gait, simultaneous operation of both joint actuators was not conducted: either the knee actuation or the hip actuation was executed only. Thus, the knee actuator and the hip actuator were assessed with a T12 subject and with subjects for T5, T8, T11, and T12 respectively. The motions of the gaits, assisted by the linear actuators, were measured by a Vicon 370 system, and the general gait parameters and compensatory motions were evaluated. Results demonstrated that (a) all subjects could walk without falling, assisted either by the knee or the hip actuator; (b) both the knee and hip joint actuator increased the gait speed and the step length; (c) the knee flexion produced by the orthosis improved the dynamic cosmesis of walking; and (d) lateral compensatory motions as well as vertical ones tended to decrease when the hip joint was assisted, which could contribute to a reduction in walking effort.

  9. Responsiveness of the motor function measure in patients with spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Vuillerot, Carole; Payan, Christine; Iwaz, Jean; Ecochard, René; Bérard, Carole

    2013-08-01

    To assess the ability of the Motor Function Measure (MFM) to detect changes in the progression of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Observational, retrospective, multicenter cohort study. Seventeen departments of pediatric physical medicine. Volunteer patients with SMA (N=112) aged 5.7 to 59 years with no treatment other than physical therapy and nutritional or respiratory assistance. Not applicable. The distributions of the MFM scores (total score and 3 subscores) were analyzed per SMA subtype. The relationships between scores and age were studied. The slopes of score changes (reflecting MFM responsiveness) were estimated in patients with at least 6 months' follow-up and 2 MFMs. Hypothetical sample sizes for specific effect sizes in clinical trial scenarios are given. In 12 patients with SMA type 2 and 19 with SMA type 3 (mean ± SD follow-up, 25.8 ± 19mo), there was a moderate inverse relationship between age and the MFM total score. Patients with less than 6 months' follow-up showed little score changes. Patients with longer follow-ups showed a slow deterioration (-0.9 points/y for type 2 and -0.6 points/y for type 3). Substantial responsiveness was obtained with the MFM Dimension 2 subscore (proximal and axial motricity) in patients with SMA type 2 (standardized response mean [SRM]=1.29), and with the MFM Dimension 1 subscore (standing and transfers) in patients with SMA type 3 aged 10 to 15 years (SRM=.94). If further confirmed by larger studies, these preliminary results on the relative responsiveness of the MFM in SMA will foster its use in monitoring disease progression in patients who participate in clinical trials. Copyright © 2013 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Correlations between change scores of measures for muscle strength and motor function in individuals with spinal muscular atrophy types 2 and 3.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui-Yi; Yang, Yi-Hsin; Jong, Yuh-Jyh

    2013-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the correlations between change scores on the Manual Muscle Test for muscle strength and the Gross Motor Function Measure for motor function in individuals with spinal muscular atrophy type 2 and type 3. The specific aims were to reveal any differences in correlations between younger (children) and older (adolescents and adults) individuals and also between walkers and nonwalkers with spinal muscular atrophy. A total of 56 individuals with spinal muscular atrophy aged 5 to 41 yrs were recruited. Muscle strength and motor function were measured three times at 6-mo intervals. The Manual Muscle Test scores of 36 muscle groups and Gross Motor Function Measure scores were obtained. Differences in these scores over time (baseline to 6 mos and baseline to 12 mos) were calculated. Changes in Manual Muscle Test scores correlated positively to changes in Gross Motor Function Measure scores over 12 mos (r = 0.35, P = 0.01). Significantly positive correlations between the change scores over 12 mos were evident in the older group (r = 0.48, P = 0.02) and in nonwalkers (r = 0.47, P < 0.001). The correlations between change scores on Manual Muscle Test and on Gross Motor Function Measure suggest that these two measures are suitable for representing concurrent changes in muscle strength and motor function in spinal muscular atrophy within 12 mos.

  11. Reflex conditioning: A new strategy for improving motor function after spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiang Yang; Chen, Yi; Wang, Yu; Thompson, Aiko; Carp, Jonathan S.; Segal, Richard L.; Wolpaw, Jonathan R.

    2010-01-01

    Spinal reflex conditioning changes reflex size, induces spinal cord plasticity, and modifies locomotion. Appropriate reflex conditioning can improve walking in rats after spinal cord injury (SCI). Reflex conditioning offers a new therapeutic strategy for restoring function in people with SCI. This approach can address the specific deficits of individuals with SCI by targeting specific reflex pathways for increased or decreased responsiveness. In addition, once clinically significant regeneration can be achieved, reflex conditioning could provide a means of re-educating the newly (and probably imperfectly) reconnected spinal cord. PMID:20590534

  12. Transcriptional profiling of differentially vulnerable motor neurons at pre-symptomatic stage in the Smn (2b/-) mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Murray, Lyndsay M; Beauvais, Ariane; Gibeault, Sabrina; Courtney, Natalie L; Kothary, Rashmi

    2015-09-15

    The term motor neuron disease encompasses a spectrum of disorders in which motor neurons are the lost. Importantly, while some motor neurons are lost early in disease and others remain intact at disease end-stage. This creates a valuable experimental paradigm to investigate the factors that regulate motor neuron vulnerability. Spinal muscular atrophy is a childhood motor neuron disease caused by mutations or deletions in the SMN1 gene. Here, we have performed transcriptional analysis on differentially vulnerable motor neurons from an intermediate mouse model of Spinal muscular atrophy at a presymptomatic time point. We have characterised two differentially vulnerable populations, differing in the level neuromuscular junction loss. Transcriptional analysis on motor neuron cell bodies revealed that reduced Smn levels correlate with a reduction of transcripts associated with the ribosome, rRNA binding, ubiquitination and oxidative phosphorylation. Furthermore, P53 pathway activation precedes neuromuscular junction loss, suggesting that denervation may be a consequence, rather than a cause of motor neuron death in Spinal muscular atrophy. Finally, increased vulnerability correlates with a decrease in the positive regulation of DNA repair. This study identifies pathways related to the function of Smn and associated with differential motor unit vulnerability, thus presenting a number of exciting targets for future therapeutic development.

  13. Abbreviated exposure to hypoxia is sufficient to induce CNS dysmyelination, modulate spinal motor neuron composition, and impair motor development in neonatal mice.

    PubMed

    Watzlawik, Jens O; Kahoud, Robert J; O'Toole, Ryan J; White, Katherine A M; Ogden, Alyssa R; Painter, Meghan M; Wootla, Bharath; Papke, Louisa M; Denic, Aleksandar; Weimer, Jill M; Carey, William A; Rodriguez, Moses

    2015-01-01

    Neonatal white matter injury (nWMI) is an increasingly common cause of cerebral palsy that results predominantly from hypoxic injury to progenitor cells including those of the oligodendrocyte lineage. Existing mouse models of nWMI utilize prolonged periods of hypoxia during the neonatal period, require complex cross-fostering and exhibit poor growth and high mortality rates. Abnormal CNS myelin composition serves as the major explanation for persistent neuro-motor deficits. Here we developed a simplified model of nWMI with low mortality rates and improved growth without cross-fostering. Neonatal mice are exposed to low oxygen from postnatal day (P) 3 to P7, which roughly corresponds to the period of human brain development between gestational weeks 32 and 36. CNS hypomyelination is detectable for 2-3 weeks post injury and strongly correlates with levels of body and brain weight loss. Immediately following hypoxia treatment, cell death was evident in multiple brain regions, most notably in superficial and deep cortical layers as well as the subventricular zone progenitor compartment. PDGFαR, Nkx2.2, and Olig2 positive oligodendrocyte progenitor cell were significantly reduced until postnatal day 27. In addition to CNS dysmyelination we identified a novel pathological marker for adult hypoxic animals that strongly correlates with life-long neuro-motor deficits. Mice reared under hypoxia reveal an abnormal spinal neuron composition with increased small and medium diameter axons and decreased large diameter axons in thoracic lateral and anterior funiculi. Differences were particularly pronounced in white matter motor tracts left and right of the anterior median fissure. Our findings suggest that 4 days of exposure to hypoxia are sufficient to induce experimental nWMI in CD1 mice, thus providing a model to test new therapeutics. Pathological hallmarks of this model include early cell death, decreased OPCs and hypomyelination in early postnatal life, followed by

  14. Abbreviated Exposure to Hypoxia Is Sufficient to Induce CNS Dysmyelination, Modulate Spinal Motor Neuron Composition, and Impair Motor Development in Neonatal Mice

    PubMed Central

    Watzlawik, Jens O.; Kahoud, Robert J.; O’Toole, Ryan J.; White, Katherine A. M.; Ogden, Alyssa R.; Painter, Meghan M.; Wootla, Bharath; Papke, Louisa M.; Denic, Aleksandar; Weimer, Jill M.; Carey, William A.; Rodriguez, Moses

    2015-01-01

    Neonatal white matter injury (nWMI) is an increasingly common cause of cerebral palsy that results predominantly from hypoxic injury to progenitor cells including those of the oligodendrocyte lineage. Existing mouse models of nWMI utilize prolonged periods of hypoxia during the neonatal period, require complex cross-fostering and exhibit poor growth and high mortality rates. Abnormal CNS myelin composition serves as the major explanation for persistent neuro-motor deficits. Here we developed a simplified model of nWMI with low mortality rates and improved growth without cross-fostering. Neonatal mice are exposed to low oxygen from postnatal day (P) 3 to P7, which roughly corresponds to the period of human brain development between gestational weeks 32 and 36. CNS hypomyelination is detectable for 2–3 weeks post injury and strongly correlates with levels of body and brain weight loss. Immediately following hypoxia treatment, cell death was evident in multiple brain regions, most notably in superficial and deep cortical layers as well as the subventricular zone progenitor compartment. PDGFαR, Nkx2.2, and Olig2 positive oligodendrocyte progenitor cell were significantly reduced until postnatal day 27. In addition to CNS dysmyelination we identified a novel pathological marker for adult hypoxic animals that strongly correlates with life-long neuro-motor deficits. Mice reared under hypoxia reveal an abnormal spinal neuron composition with increased small and medium diameter axons and decreased large diameter axons in thoracic lateral and anterior funiculi. Differences were particularly pronounced in white matter motor tracts left and right of the anterior median fissure. Our findings suggest that 4 days of exposure to hypoxia are sufficient to induce experimental nWMI in CD1 mice, thus providing a model to test new therapeutics. Pathological hallmarks of this model include early cell death, decreased OPCs and hypomyelination in early postnatal life, followed by

  15. Modeling the phenotype of spinal muscular atrophy by the direct conversion of human fibroblasts to motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qi-Jie; Li, Jin-Jing; Lin, Xiang; Lu, Ying-Qian; Guo, Xin-Xin; Dong, En-Lin; Zhao, Miao; He, Jin; Wang, Ning; Chen, Wan-Jin

    2017-02-14

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a lethal autosomal recessive neurological disease characterized by selective degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord. In recent years, the development of cellular reprogramming technology has provided an alternative and effective method for obtaining patient-specific neurons in vitro. In the present study, we applied this technology to the field of SMA to acquire patient-specific induced motor neurons that were directly converted from fibroblasts via the forced expression of 8 defined transcription factors. The infected fibroblasts began to grow in a dipolar manner, and the nuclei gradually enlarged. Typical Tuj1-positive neurons were generated at day 23. After day 35, induced neurons with multiple neurites were observed, and these neurons also expressed the hallmarks of Tuj1, HB9, ISL1 and CHAT. The conversion efficiencies were approximately 5.8% and 5.5% in the SMA and control groups, respectively. Additionally, the SMA-induced neurons exhibited a significantly reduced neurite outgrowth rate compared with the control neurons. After day 60, the SMA-induced neurons also exhibited a liability of neuronal degeneration and remarkable fracturing of the neurites was observed. By directly reprogramming fibroblasts, we established a feeder-free conversion system to acquire SMA patient-specific induced motor neurons that partially modeled the phenotype of SMA in vitro.

  16. Dynamic longitudinal evaluation of the utility of the Berg Balance Scale in individuals with motor incomplete spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Datta, Somnath; Lorenz, Douglas J; Harkema, Susan J

    2012-09-01

    To examine the utility of the Berg Balance Scale among patients with motor incomplete spinal cord injuries (SCIs), to determine how the utility of the Berg Balance Scale changes over time with activity-based therapy, and to identify differences in scale utility across patient groups defined by status of recovery. Prospective observational cohort. The NeuroRecovery Network (NRN), a network of clinical centers for patients with motor incomplete SCI. Patients with motor incomplete SCI (n=124) with American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale grade C or D, who were enrolled in the NRN between February 2008 and June 2009. Standardized locomotor training. The Berg Balance Scale items were examined with longitudinal principal components analyses. Patients were categorized by phase using the Neuromuscular Recovery Scale. In the full sample, the first principal component explained a large percentage of overall scale variance (77%), items were loaded homogeneously on the first principal component, and item scores were well correlated with first principal component scores. In subgroups of low and high functioning of patients, first principal component variance accounting was reduced (49%) and only a few of the simplest and most difficult items substantially loaded onto the first principal component. Item loading coefficients evolved over time as patients recovered, with simpler items becoming less important to the full scale and difficult items more important. The utility of the Berg Balance Scale in patients with motor incomplete SCI in early and advanced phases of recovery is limited. Specific item utility changes as patients recover. Thus, a more comprehensive and dynamic instrument is necessary to adequately measure balance across the spectrum of patients with motor incomplete SCI. Copyright © 2012 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. A 3D map of the hindlimb motor representation in the lumbar spinal cord in Sprague Dawley rats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borrell, Jordan A.; Frost, Shawn B.; Peterson, Jeremy; Nudo, Randolph J.

    2017-02-01

    Objective. Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating neurological trauma with a prevalence of about 282 000 people living with an SCI in the United States in 2016. Advances in neuromodulatory devices hold promise for restoring function by incorporating the delivery of electrical current directly into the spinal cord grey matter via intraspinal microstimulation (ISMS). In such designs, detailed topographic maps of spinal cord outputs are needed to determine ISMS locations for eliciting hindlimb movements. The primary goal of the present study was to derive a topographic map of functional motor outputs in the lumbar spinal cord to hindlimb skeletal muscles as defined by ISMS in a rat model. Approach. Experiments were carried out in nine healthy, adult, male, Sprague Dawley rats. After a laminectomy of the T13-L1 vertebrae and removal of the dura mater, a four-shank, 16-channel microelectrode array was inserted along a 3D (200 µm) stimulation grid. Trains of three biphasic current pulses were used to determine evoked movements and electromyographic (EMG) activity. Via fine wire EMG electrodes, stimulus-triggered averaging (StTA) was used on rectified EMG data to determine response latency. Main results. Hindlimb movements were elicited at a median current intensity of 6 µA, and thresholds were significantly lower in ventrolateral sites. Movements typically consisted of whole leg, hip, knee, ankle, toe, and trunk movements. Hip movements dominated rostral to the T13 vertebral segment, knee movements were evoked at the T13-L1 vertebral junction, while ankle and digit movements were found near the rostral L1 vertebra. Whole leg movements spanned the entire rostrocaudal region explored, while trunk movements dominated medially. StTAs of EMG activity demonstrated a latency of ~4 ms. Significance. The derived motor map provides insight into the parameters needed for future neuromodulatory devices.

  18. Efficacy of QuadroPulse rTMS for improving motor function after spinal cord injury: Three case studies

    PubMed Central

    Alexeeva, Natalia

    2016-01-01

    Context/objective To examine the effects of repetitive QuadroPulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMSQP) on hand/leg function after spinal cord injury (SCI). Design Interventional proof-of-concept study. Setting University laboratory. Participants Three adult subjects with cervical SCI. Interventions Repeated trains of magnetic stimuli were applied to the motor cortical hand/leg area. Several exploratory single-day rTMSQP protocols were examined. Ultimately we settled on a protocol using three 5-day trials of (1) rTMSQP only; (2) exercise only (targeting hand or leg function); and (3) rTMSQP combined with exercise. Outcome measures Hand motor function was assessed by Purdue Pegboard and Complete Minnesota Dexterity tests. Walking function was based on treadmill walking and the Timed Up and Go test. Electromyographic recordings were used for neurophysiological testing of cortical (by single- and double-pulse TMS) and spinal (via tendon taps and electrical nerve stimulation) excitability. Results Single-day rTMSQP application had no clear effect in the 2 subjects whose hand function was targeted, but improved walking speed in the person targeted for walking, accompanied by increased cortical excitability and reduced spinal excitability. All 3 subjects showed functional improvement following the 5-day rTMSQP intervention, an effect being even more pronounced after the five-day combined rTMSQP + exercise sessions. There were no rTMSQP-associated adverse effects. Conclusion Our findings suggest a functional benefit of motor cortical rTMSQP after SCI. The effect of rTMSQP appears to be augmented when stimulation is accompanied by targeted exercises, warranting expansion of this pilot study to a larger subject population. PMID:25437531

  19. Efficacy of QuadroPulse rTMS for improving motor function after spinal cord injury: Three case studies.

    PubMed

    Alexeeva, Natalia; Calancie, Blair

    2016-01-01

    To examine the effects of repetitive QuadroPulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS(QP)) on hand/leg function after spinal cord injury (SCI). Interventional proof-of-concept study. University laboratory. Three adult subjects with cervical SCI. Interventions Repeated trains of magnetic stimuli were applied to the motor cortical hand/leg area. Several exploratory single-day rTMS(QP) protocols were examined. Ultimately we settled on a protocol using three 5-day trials of (1) rTMS(QP) only; (2) exercise only (targeting hand or leg function); and (3) rTMS(QP) combined with exercise. Hand motor function was assessed by Purdue Pegboard and Complete Minnesota Dexterity tests. Walking function was based on treadmill walking and the Timed Up and Go test. Electromyographic recordings were used for neurophysiological testing of cortical (by single- and double-pulse TMS) and spinal (via tendon taps and electrical nerve stimulation) excitability. Single-day rTMS(QP) application had no clear effect in the 2 subjects whose hand function was targeted, but improved walking speed in the person targeted for walking, accompanied by increased cortical excitability and reduced spinal excitability. All 3 subjects showed functional improvement following the 5-day rTMS(QP) intervention, an effect being even more pronounced after the five-day combined rTMS(QP) + exercise sessions. There were no rTMS(QP)-associated adverse effects. Our findings suggest a functional benefit of motor cortical rTMS(QP) after SCI. The effect of rTMS(QP) appears to be augmented when stimulation is accompanied by targeted exercises, warranting expansion of this pilot study to a larger subject population.

  20. Racial and ethnic disparities in functioning at discharge and follow-up among patients with motor complete spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Fyffe, Denise C; Deutsch, Anne; Botticello, Amanda L; Kirshblum, Steven; Ottenbacher, Kenneth J

    2014-11-01

    To examine racial and ethnic differences in self-care and mobility outcomes for persons with a motor complete, traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) at discharge and 1-year follow-up. Retrospective cohort study. Sixteen rehabilitation centers contributing to the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems (SCIMS) database. Adults with traumatic, motor complete SCI (N=1766; American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale grade A or B) enrolled in the SCIMS between 2000 and 2011. Selected cases had complete self-reported data on race and ethnicity (non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, or Hispanic) and motor FIM scores assessed at inpatient rehabilitation admission, discharge, and 1-year follow-up. Not applicable. Functional outcomes were measured by FIM self-care and mobility scores on a 1 to 7 FIM scale, at discharge and 1-year follow-up. Multiple regression models stratified by neurologic category and adjusted for sociodemographic and injury characteristics assessed racial and ethnic group differences in FIM self-care and mobility change scores at discharge and 1-year follow-up. At discharge, non-Hispanic black participants with tetraplegia and paraplegia had significantly poorer gains in FIM self-care and mobility scores relative to non-Hispanic white and Hispanic participants. At 1-year follow-up, similar FIM self-care and mobility change scores were found across racial and ethnic groups within each neurologic category. Non-Hispanic white and Hispanic participants had comparatively more improvement in self-care and mobility during inpatient rehabilitation compared with non-Hispanic black participants. At 1-year follow-up, no differences in self-care and mobility outcomes were observed across racial and ethnic groups. Additional research is needed to identify potential modifiable factors that may contribute to racially and ethnically different patterns of functional outcomes observed during inpatient rehabilitation. Copyright © 2014 American Congress of Rehabilitation

  1. Roles for Multifunctional and Specialized Spinal Interneurons During Motor Pattern Generation in Tadpoles, Zebrafish Larvae, and Turtles

    PubMed Central

    Berkowitz, Ari; Roberts, Alan; Soffe, Stephen R.

    2010-01-01

    The hindbrain and spinal cord can produce multiple forms of locomotion, escape, and withdrawal behaviors and (in limbed vertebrates) site-specific scratching. Until recently, the prevailing view was that the same classes of central nervous system neurons generate multiple kinds of movements, either through reconfiguration of a single, shared network or through an increase in the number of neurons recruited within each class. The mechanisms involved in selecting and generating different motor patterns have recently been explored in detail in some non-mammalian, vertebrate model systems. Work on the hatchling Xenopus tadpole, the larval zebrafish, and the adult turtle has now revealed that distinct kinds of motor patterns are actually selected and generated by combinations of multifunctional and specialized spinal interneurons. Multifunctional interneurons may form a core, multipurpose circuit that generates elements of coordinated motor output utilized in multiple behaviors, such as left-right alternation. But, in addition, specialized spinal interneurons including separate glutamatergic and glycinergic classes are selectively activated during specific patterns: escape-withdrawal, swimming and struggling in tadpoles and zebrafish, and limb withdrawal and scratching in turtles. These specialized neurons can contribute by changing the way central pattern generator (CPG) activity is initiated and by altering CPG composition and operation. The combined use of multifunctional and specialized neurons is now established as a principle of organization across a range of vertebrates. Future research may reveal common patterns of multifunctionality and specialization among interneurons controlling diverse movements and whether similar mechanisms exist in higher-order brain circuits that select among a wider array of complex movements. PMID:20631847

  2. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Functioning at Discharge and Follow-Up Among Patients With Motor Complete Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Fyffe, Denise C.; Deutsch, Anne; Botticello, Amanda L.; Kirshblum, Steven; Ottenbacher, Kenneth J.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To examine racial and ethnic differences in self-care and mobility outcomes for persons with a motor complete, traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) at discharge and 1-year follow-up. Design Retrospective cohort study. Setting Sixteen rehabilitation centers contributing to the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems (SCIMS) database. Participants Adults with traumatic, motor complete SCI (N=1766; American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale grade A or B) enrolled in the SCIMS between 2000 and 2011. Selected cases had complete self-reported data on race and ethnicity (non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, or Hispanic) and motor FIM scores assessed at inpatient rehabilitation admission, discharge, and 1-year follow-up. Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures Functional outcomes were measured by FIM self-care and mobility scores on a 1 to 7 FIM scale, at discharge and 1-year follow-up. Results Multiple regression models stratified by neurologic category and adjusted for sociodemographic and injury characteristics assessed racial and ethnic group differences in FIM self-care and mobility change scores at discharge and 1-year follow-up. At discharge, non-Hispanic black participants with tetraplegia and paraplegia had significantly poorer gains in FIM self-care and mobility scores relative to non-Hispanic white and Hispanic participants. At 1-year follow-up, similar FIM self-care and mobility change scores were found across racial and ethnic groups within each neurologic category. Conclusions Non-Hispanic white and Hispanic participants had comparatively more improvement in self-care and mobility during inpatient rehabilitation compared with non-Hispanic black participants. At 1-year follow-up, no differences in self-care and mobility outcomes were observed across racial and ethnic groups. Additional research is needed to identify potential modifiable factors that may contribute to racially and ethnically different patterns of functional outcomes

  3. Morphological Characteristics of Motor Neurons Do Not Determine Their Relative Susceptibility to Degeneration in a Mouse Model of Severe Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Mutsaers, Chantal A.; Thomson, Derek; Hamilton, Gillian; Parson, Simon H.; Gillingwater, Thomas H.

    2012-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a leading genetic cause of infant mortality, resulting primarily from the degeneration and loss of lower motor neurons. Studies using mouse models of SMA have revealed widespread heterogeneity in the susceptibility of individual motor neurons to neurodegeneration, but the underlying reasons remain unclear. Data from related motor neuron diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), suggest that morphological properties of motor neurons may regulate susceptibility: in ALS larger motor units innervating fast-twitch muscles degenerate first. We therefore set out to determine whether intrinsic morphological characteristics of motor neurons influenced their relative vulnerability to SMA. Motor neuron vulnerability was mapped across 10 muscle groups in SMA mice. Neither the position of the muscle in the body, nor the fibre type of the muscle innervated, influenced susceptibility. Morphological properties of vulnerable and disease-resistant motor neurons were then determined from single motor units reconstructed in Thy.1-YFP-H mice. None of the parameters we investigated in healthy young adult mice – including motor unit size, motor unit arbor length, branching patterns, motor endplate size, developmental pruning and numbers of terminal Schwann cells at neuromuscular junctions - correlated with vulnerability. We conclude that morphological characteristics of motor neurons are not a major determinant of disease-susceptibility in SMA, in stark contrast to related forms of motor neuron disease such as ALS. This suggests that subtle molecular differences between motor neurons, or extrinsic factors arising from other cell types, are more likely to determine relative susceptibility in SMA. PMID:23285108

  4. Motor recovery at 6 months after admission is related to structural and functional reorganization of the spine and brain in patients with spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Hou, Jingming; Xiang, Zimin; Yan, Rubing; Zhao, Ming; Wu, Yongtao; Zhong, Jianfeng; Guo, Lei; Li, Haitao; Wang, Jian; Wu, Jixiang; Sun, Tiansheng; Liu, Hongliang

    2016-06-01

    This study aimed to explore structural and functional reorganization of the brain in the early stages of spinal cord injury (SCI) and identify brain areas that contribute to motor recovery. We studied 25 patients with SCI, including 10 with good motor recovery and 15 with poor motor recovery, along with 25 matched healthy controls. The mean period post-SCI was 9.2 ± 3.5 weeks in good recoverers and 8.8 ± 2.6 weeks in poor recoverers. All participants underwent structural and functional MRI on a 3-T magnetic resonance system. We evaluated differences in cross-sectional spinal cord area at the C2/C3 level, brain cortical thickness, white matter microstructure, and functional connectivity during the resting state among the three groups. We also evaluated associations between structural and functional reorganization and the rate of motor recovery. After SCI, compared with good recoverers, poor recoverers had a significantly decreased cross-sectional spinal cord area, cortical thickness in the right supplementary motor area and premotor cortex, and fractional anisotropy (FA) in the right primary motor cortex and posterior limb of the internal capsule. Meanwhile, poor recoverers showed decreased functional connectivity between the primary motor cortex and higher order motor areas (supplementary motor area and premotor cortex), while good recoverers showed increased functional connectivity among these regions. The structural and functional reorganization of the spine and brain was associated with motor recovery rate in all SCI patients. In conclusion, structural and functional reorganization of the spine and brain directly affected the motor recovery of SCI. Less structural atrophy and enhanced functional connectivity are associated with good motor recovery in patients with SCI. Multimodal imaging has the potential to predict motor recovery in the early stage of SCI. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2195-2209, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals

  5. Safe transcranial electric stimulation motor evoked potential monitoring during posterior spinal fusion in two patients with cochlear implants.

    PubMed

    Yellin, Joseph L; Wiggins, Cheryl R; Franco, Alier J; Sankar, Wudbhav N

    2016-08-01

    Transcranial electric stimulation (TES) motor evoked potentials (MEPs) have become a regular part of intraoperative neurophysiologic monitoring (IONM) for posterior spinal fusion (PSF) surgery. Almost all of the relative contraindications to TES have come and gone. One exception is in the case of patients with a cochlear implant (CI). Herein we illustrate two cases of pediatric patients with CIs who underwent PSF using TES MEPs as part of IONM. In both instances the patients displayed no untoward effects from TES, and post-operatively both CIs were intact and functioning as they were prior to surgery.

  6. Phrenic motor outputs in response to bronchopulmonary C-fibre activation following chronic cervical spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kun-Ze

    2016-10-15

    Activation of bronchopulmonary C-fibres, the main chemosensitive afferents in the lung, can induce pulmonary chemoreflexes to modulate respiratory activity. Following chronic cervical spinal cord injury, bronchopulmonary C-fibre activation-induced inhibition of phrenic activity was exaggerated. Supersensitivity of phrenic motor outputs to the inhibitory effect of bronchopulmonary C-fibre activation is due to a shift of phrenic motoneuron types and slow recovery of phrenic motoneuron discharge in cervical spinal cord-injured animals. These data suggest that activation of bronchopulmonary C-fibres may retard phrenic output recovery following cervical spinal cord injury. The alteration of phenotype and discharge pattern of phrenic motoneuron enables us to understand the impact of spinal cord injury on spinal respiratory activity. Cervical spinal injury interrupts bulbospinal pathways and results in cessation of phrenic bursting ipsilateral to the lesion. The ipsilateral phrenic activity can partially recover over weeks to months following injury due to the activation of latent crossed spinal pathways and exhibits a greater capacity to increase activity during respiratory challenges than the contralateral phrenic nerve. However, whether the bilateral phrenic nerves demonstrate differential responses to respiratory inhibitory inputs is unclear. Accordingly, the present study examined bilateral phrenic bursting in response to capsaicin-induced pulmonary chemoreflexes, a robust respiratory inhibitory stimulus. Bilateral phrenic nerve activity was recorded in anaesthetized and mechanically ventilated adult rats at 8-9 weeks after C2 hemisection (C2Hx) or C2 laminectomy. Intra-jugular capsaicin (1.5 μg kg(-1) ) injection was performed to activate the bronchopulmonary C-fibres to evoke pulmonary chemoreflexes. The present results indicate that capsaicin-induced prolongation of expiratory duration was significantly attenuated in C2Hx animals. However, ipsilateral phrenic

  7. Bulbospinal inhibition of PAD elicited by stimulation of afferent and motor axons in the isolated frog spinal cord and brainstem.

    PubMed

    González, H; Jiménez, I; Rudomin, P

    1992-01-01

    1. In the isolated spinal cord and brainstem of the frog, stimulation of the brainstem (BS) with trains of 3-4 pulses at 60-400 Hz produced dorsal root potentials (DRPs). The lowest threshold sites eliciting DRPs were located at the level of the obex up to about 2.5 mm rostrally, 0.5-1.2 mm laterally, between 0.5 and 1.6 mm depth. This region corresponds to the bulbar reticular formation (RF). 2. Stimulation of the RF with strengths below those required to produce DRPs, very effectively inhibited the DRPs produced by stimulation of a neighboring dorsal root (DR-DRPs) as well as the DRPs produced by antidromic stimulation of the central end of motor nerves (VR-DRPs). The inhibition was detectable 20 ms after the first pulse of the conditioning train, attained maximal values between 50 and 100 ms and lasted more than 250 ms. 3. Stimulation of the bulbar RF increased the negative response (N1 response) produced in the motor pool by antidromic activation of motoneurons. The time course of the facilitation of the N1 response resembled that of the reticularly-induced inhibition of the VR-DRPs and DR-DRPs. 4. The present series of observations supports the existence of reticulo-spinal pathways that are able to inhibit the depolarization elicited in afferent fibers by stimulation of other afferent fibers or by antidromic activation of motor axons. This inhibition appears to be exerted on the PAD mediating interneurons and is envisaged as playing an important role in motor control.

  8. Body System Effects of a Multi-Modal Training Program Targeting Chronic, Motor Complete Thoracic Spinal Cord Injury.

    PubMed

    Gant, Katie; Nagle, Kathleen; Cowan, Rachel; Field-Fote, Edelle; Nash, Mark; Kressler, Jochen; Thomas, Christine K; Castellanos, Mabelin; Widerstrom-Noga, Eva; Anderson, Kimberly D

    2017-08-10

    The safety and efficacy of pharmacologic and cellular transplantation strategies are currently being evaluated in people with spinal cord injury. In studies of people with chronic spinal cord injuries, it is thought that functional recovery will be best achieved when drug or cell therapies are combined with rehabilitation protocols. However, any functional recovery due to the therapy may be confounded by the conditioned state of the body and by training-induced effects on neuroplasticity. For this reason, we sought to investigate the effects of a multi-modal training program on several body systems. The training program included body weight supported treadmill training for locomotion, circuit resistance training for upper body conditioning, functional electrical stimulation for activation of sublesional muscles, and wheelchair skills training for overall mobility. Eight participants with chronic, thoracic-level, motor-complete spinal cord injury completed the 12 week program. After 12 weeks, upper extremity muscular strength improved significantly for all participants, and some participants experienced improvements in function which may be explained by increased strength. Neurological function did not change. Changes in pain and spasticity were highly variable between participants. This is the first demonstration of the effect of this combination of four training modalities. However, balancing participant and study-site burden with capturing meaningful outcome measures is also an important consideration.

  9. Muscle expression of mutant androgen receptor accounts for systemic and motor neuron disease phenotypes in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Cortes, Constanza J; Ling, Shuo-Chien; Guo, Ling T; Hung, Gene; Tsunemi, Taiji; Ly, Linda; Tokunaga, Seiya; Lopez, Edith; Sopher, Bryce L; Bennett, C Frank; Shelton, G Diane; Cleveland, Don W; La Spada, Albert R

    2014-04-16

    X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is characterized by adult-onset muscle weakness and lower motor neuron degeneration. SBMA is caused by CAG-polyglutamine (polyQ) repeat expansions in the androgen receptor (AR) gene. Pathological findings include motor neuron loss, with polyQ-AR accumulation in intranuclear inclusions. SBMA patients exhibit myopathic features, suggesting a role for muscle in disease pathogenesis. To determine the contribution of muscle, we developed a BAC mouse model featuring a floxed first exon to permit cell-type-specific excision of human AR121Q. BAC fxAR121 mice develop systemic and neuromuscular phenotypes, including shortened survival. After validating termination of AR121 expression and full rescue with ubiquitous Cre, we crossed BAC fxAR121 mice with Human Skeletal Actin-Cre mice. Muscle-specific excision prevented weight loss, motor phenotypes, muscle pathology, and motor neuronopathy and dramatically extended survival. Our results reveal a crucial role for muscle expression of polyQ-AR in SBMA and suggest muscle-directed therapies as effective treatments.

  10. Mutations in the RNA exosome component gene EXOSC3 cause pontocerebellar hypoplasia and spinal motor neuron degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Jijun; Yourshaw, Michael; Mamsa, Hafsa; Rudnik-Schöneborn, Sabine; Menezes, Manoj P.; Hong, Ji Eun; Leong, Derek W.; Senderek, Jan; Salman, Michael S.; Chitayat, David; Seeman, Pavel; von Moers, Arpad; Graul-Neumann, Luitgard; Kornberg, Andrew J.; Castro-Gago, Manuel; Sobrido, María-Jesús; Sanefuji, Masafumi; Shieh, Perry B.; Salamon, Noriko; Kim, Ronald C.; Vinters, Harry V.; Chen, Zugen; Zerres, Klaus; Ryan, Monique M.; Nelson, Stanley F.; Jen, Joanna C.

    2012-01-01

    RNA exosomes are multi-subunit complexes conserved throughout evolution1 and emerging as the major cellular machinery for processing, surveillance, and turnover of a diverse spectrum of coding and non-coding RNA substrates essential for viability2. By exome sequencing, we discovered recessive mutations in exosome component 3 (EXOSC3) in four siblings with infantile spinal motor neuron disease, cerebellar atrophy, progressive microcephaly, and profound global developmental delay, consistent with pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 1 [PCH1; OMIM 607596]3–6. We identified mutations in EXOSC3 in an additional 8 of 12 families with PCH1. Morpholino knockdown of exosc3 in zebrafish embryos caused embryonic maldevelopment with small brain and poor motility, reminiscent of human clinical features and largely rescued by coinjected wildtype but not mutant exosc3 mRNA. These findings represent the first example of an RNA exosome gene responsible for a human disease and further implicate dysregulation of RNA processing in cerebellar and spinal motor neuron maldevelopment and degeneration. PMID:22544365

  11. A Systematic Review of Experimental Strategies Aimed at Improving Motor Function after Acute and Chronic Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Gomes-Osman, Joyce; Cortes, Mar; Guest, James

    2016-01-01

    Abstract While various approaches have been proposed in clinical trials aimed at improving motor function after spinal cord injury in humans, there is still limited information regarding the scope, methodological quality, and evidence associated with single-intervention and multi-intervention approaches. A systematic review performed using the PubMed search engine and the key words “spinal cord injury motor recovery” identified 1973 records, of which 39 were selected (18 from the search records and 21 from reference list inspection). Study phase (clinicaltrials.org criteria) and methodological quality (Cochrane criteria) were assessed. Studies included proposed a broad range of single-intervention (encompassing cell therapies, pharmacology, electrical stimulation, rehabilitation) (encompassing cell therapies, pharmacology, electrical stimulation, rehabilitation) and multi-intervention approaches (that combined more than one strategy). The highest evidence level was for Phase III studies supporting the role of multi-intervention approaches that contained a rehabilitation component. Quality appraisal revealed that the percentage of selected studies classified with high risk of bias by Cochrane criteria was as follows: random sequence generation = 64%; allocation concealment = 77%; blinding of participants and personnel = 69%; blinding of outcome assessment = 64%; attrition = 44%; selective reporting = 44%. The current literature contains a high proportion of studies with a limited ability to measure efficacy in a valid manner because of low methodological strength in all items of the Cochrane risk of bias assessment. Recommendations to decrease bias are discussed and include increased methodological rigor in the study design and recruitment of study participants, and the use of electrophysiological and imaging measures that can assess functional integrity of the spinal cord (and may be sufficiently sensitive to detect changes that occur in

  12. A Systematic Review of Experimental Strategies Aimed at Improving Motor Function after Acute and Chronic Spinal Cord Injury.

    PubMed

    Gomes-Osman, Joyce; Cortes, Mar; Guest, James; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2016-03-01

    While various approaches have been proposed in clinical trials aimed at improving motor function after spinal cord injury in humans, there is still limited information regarding the scope, methodological quality, and evidence associated with single-intervention and multi-intervention approaches. A systematic review performed using the PubMed search engine and the key words "spinal cord injury motor recovery" identified 1973 records, of which 39 were selected (18 from the search records and 21 from reference list inspection). Study phase ( clinicaltrials.org criteria) and methodological quality (Cochrane criteria) were assessed. Studies included proposed a broad range of single-intervention (encompassing cell therapies, pharmacology, electrical stimulation, rehabilitation) (encompassing cell therapies, pharmacology, electrical stimulation, rehabilitation) and multi-intervention approaches (that combined more than one strategy). The highest evidence level was for Phase III studies supporting the role of multi-intervention approaches that contained a rehabilitation component. Quality appraisal revealed that the percentage of selected studies classified with high risk of bias by Cochrane criteria was as follows: random sequence generation = 64%; allocation concealment = 77%; blinding of participants and personnel = 69%; blinding of outcome assessment = 64%; attrition = 44%; selective reporting = 44%. The current literature contains a high proportion of studies with a limited ability to measure efficacy in a valid manner because of low methodological strength in all items of the Cochrane risk of bias assessment. Recommendations to decrease bias are discussed and include increased methodological rigor in the study design and recruitment of study participants, and the use of electrophysiological and imaging measures that can assess functional integrity of the spinal cord (and may be sufficiently sensitive to detect changes that occur in response to therapeutic

  13. Analysis of motor fibers in the communicating branch between the cervical nerves and the spinal accessory nerve to innervate trapezius in the rat.

    PubMed

    Yan, Jun; Hitomi, Jiro

    2006-11-01

    The communicating branch between the ventral rami of cervical nerves and the spinal accessory nerve (SAN) has been reported to also send motor fibers to supply the trapezius. However, the motor fiber type of the communicating branch and its peripheral distribution are still unclear. To determine the fiber elements within the branch and its peripheral distribution of the motor fibers in the trapezius, the anterograde tracing method was used in this study. The results show that a few a motor end plates from the communicating branch were observed on the extrafusal fibers, while in the muscle spindle the motor elements from the communicating branch were distributed to the polar portions of the intrafusal fibers. These results indicated that the motor fibers passing through the communicating branch to supply the trapezius are mainly y motor fibers, with some a motor fibers. Moreover, the a and y motor fibers from the communicating branch were observed in the clavotrapezius, acromiotrapezius and the rostral part of spinotrapezius. These findings also correlate with the clinical observation indicating that even when the spinal accessory nerve is injured, the trapezius is still capable of slight movement.

  14. Postnatal developmental profile of neurons and glia in motor nuclei of the brainstem and spinal cord, and its comparison with organotypic slice cultures.

    PubMed

    Cifra, Alessandra; Mazzone, Graciela L; Nani, Francesca; Nistri, Andrea; Mladinic, Miranda

    2012-08-01

    In vitro preparations of the neonatal rat spinal cord or brainstem are useful to investigate the organization of motor networks and their dysfunction in neurological disease models. Long-term spinal cord organotypic cultures can extend our understanding of such pathophysiological processes over longer times. It is, however, surprising that detailed descriptions of the type (and number) of neurons and glia in such preparations are currently unavailable to evaluate cell-selectivity of experimental damage. The focus of the present immunohistochemical study is the novel characterization of the cell population in the lumbar locomotor region of the rat spinal cord and in the brainstem motor nucleus hypoglossus at 0-4 postnatal days, and its comparison with spinal organotypic cultures at 2-22 days in vitro. In the nucleus hypoglossus, neurons were 40% of all cells and 80% of these were motoneurons. Astrocytes (35% of total cells) were the main glial cells, while microglia was <10%. In the spinal gray matter, the highest neuronal density was in the dorsal horn (>80%) and the lowest in the ventral horn (≤57%) with inverse astroglia numbers and few microglia. The number of neurons (including motoneurons) and astrocytes was stable after birth. Like in the spinal cord, motoneurons in organotypic spinal culture were <10% of ventral horn cells, with neurons <40%, and the rest made up by glia. The present report indicates a comparable degree of neuronal and glial maturation in brainstem and spinal motor nuclei, and that this condition is also observed in 3-week-old organotypic cultures. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Surgical and conservative methods for restoring impaired motor function - facial nerve, spinal accessory nerve, hypoglossal nerve (not including vagal nerve or swallowing)

    PubMed Central

    Laskawi, R.; Rohrbach, S.

    2005-01-01

    The present review gives a survey of rehabilitative measures for disorders of the motor function of the mimetic muscles (facial nerve), and muscles innervated by the spinal accessory and hypoglossal nerves. The dysfunction can present either as paralysis or hyperkinesis (hyperkinesia). Conservative and surgical treatment options aimed at restoring normal motor function and correcting the movement disorders are described. Static reanimation techniques are not dealt with. The final section describes the use of botulinum toxin in the therapy of dysphagia. PMID:22073058

  16. Descending motor pathways and cortical physiology after spinal cord injury assessed by transcranial magnetic stimulation: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Nardone, Raffaele; Höller, Yvonne; Brigo, Francesco; Orioli, Andrea; Tezzon, Frediano; Schwenker, Kerstin; Christova, Monica; Golaszewski, Stefan; Trinka, Eugen

    2015-09-04

    We performed here a systematic review of the studies using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as a research and clinical tool in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) elicited by TMS represent a highly accurate diagnostic test that can supplement clinical examination and neuroimaging findings in the assessment of SCI functional level. MEPs allows to monitor the changes in motor function and evaluate the effects of the different therapeutic approaches. Moreover, TMS represents a useful non-invasive approach for studying cortical physiology, and may be helpful in elucidating the pathophysiological mechanisms of brain reorganization after SCI. Measures of motor cortex reactivity, e.g., the short interval intracortical inhibition and the cortical silent period, seem to point to an increased cortical excitability. However, the results of TMS studies are sometimes contradictory or divergent, and should be replicated in a larger sample of subjects. Understanding the functional changes at brain level and defining their effects on clinical outcome is of crucial importance for development of evidence-based rehabilitation therapy. TMS techniques may help in identifying neurophysiological biomarkers that can reliably assess the extent of neural damage, elucidate the mechanisms of neural repair, predict clinical outcome, and identify therapeutic targets. Some researchers have begun to therapeutically use repetitive TMS (rTMS) in patients with SCI. Initial studies revealed that rTMS can induce acute and short duration beneficial effects especially on spasticity and neuropathic pain, but the evidence is to date still very preliminary and well-designed clinical trials are warranted. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Spinal cord injury. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Augmentation of motor evoked potentials using multi-train transcranial electrical stimulation in intraoperative neurophysiologic monitoring during spinal surgery.

    PubMed

    Tsutsui, Shunji; Iwasaki, Hiroshi; Yamada, Hiroshi; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Minamide, Akihito; Nakagawa, Yukihiro; Nishi, Hideto; Yoshida, Munehito

    2015-02-01

    Transcranial motor evoked potentials (TcMEPs) are widely used to monitor motor function during spinal surgery. Improvements in transcranial stimulation techniques and general anesthesia have made it possible to record reliable and reproducible potentials. However, TcMEPs are much smaller in amplitude compared with compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs) evoked by maximal peripheral nerve stimulation. In this study, multi-train transcranial electrical stimulation (mt-TES) was introduced to enhance TcMEPs, and the optimal setting of mt-TES was investigated. In 30 patients undergoing surgical correction of spinal deformities (4 males and 26 females with normal motor status; age range 11-75 years), TcMEPs from the abductor hallucis (AH) and quadriceps femoris (QF) were analyzed. A multipulse (train) stimulus with an individual pulse width of 0.5 ms and an inter-pulse interval of 2 ms was delivered repeatedly (2-7 times) at different rates (2, 5, and 10 Hz). TcMEP amplitudes increased with the number of train stimuli for AH, with the strongest facilitation observed at 5 Hz. The response amplitude increased 6.1 times on average compared with single-train transcranial electrical stimulation (st-TES). This trend was also observed in the QF. No adverse events (e.g., seizures, cardiac arrhythmias, scalp burns, accidental injury resulting from patient movement) were observed in any patients. Although several facilitative techniques using central or peripheral stimuli, preceding transcranial electrical stimulation, have been recently employed to augment TcMEPs during surgery, responses are still much smaller than CMAPs. Changing from conventional st-TES to mt-TES has potential to greatly enhance TcMEP responses.

  18. Copy Number Variations in the Survival Motor Neuron Genes: Implications for Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Butchbach, Matthew E R

    2016-01-01

    Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic cause of infant death worldwide, is an early-onset, autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of spinal α-motor neurons. This loss of α-motor neurons is associated with muscle weakness and atrophy. SMA can be classified into five clinical grades based on age of onset and severity of the disease. Regardless of clinical grade, proximal SMA results from the loss or mutation of SMN1 (survival motor neuron 1) on chromosome 5q13. In humans a large tandem chromosomal duplication has lead to a second copy of the SMN gene locus known as SMN2. SMN2 is distinguishable from SMN1 by a single nucleotide difference that disrupts an exonic splice enhancer in exon 7. As a result, most of SMN2 mRNAs lack exon 7 (SMNΔ7) and produce a protein that is both unstable and less than fully functional. Although only 10-20% of the SMN2 gene product is fully functional, increased genomic copies of SMN2 inversely correlates with disease severity among individuals with SMA. Because SMN2 copy number influences disease severity in SMA, there is prognostic value in accurate measurement of SMN2 copy number from patients being evaluated for SMA. This prognostic value is especially important given that SMN2 copy number is now being used as an inclusion criterion for SMA clinical trials. In addition to SMA, copy number variations (CNVs) in the SMN genes can affect the clinical severity of other neurological disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and progressive muscular atrophy (PMA). This review will discuss how SMN1 and SMN2 CNVs are detected and why accurate measurement of SMN1 and SMN2 copy numbers is relevant for SMA and other neurodegenerative diseases.

  19. Copy Number Variations in the Survival Motor Neuron Genes: Implications for Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Butchbach, Matthew E. R.

    2016-01-01

    Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic cause of infant death worldwide, is an early-onset, autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of spinal α-motor neurons. This loss of α-motor neurons is associated with muscle weakness and atrophy. SMA can be classified into five clinical grades based on age of onset and severity of the disease. Regardless of clinical grade, proximal SMA results from the loss or mutation of SMN1 (survival motor neuron 1) on chromosome 5q13. In humans a large tandem chromosomal duplication has lead to a second copy of the SMN gene locus known as SMN2. SMN2 is distinguishable from SMN1 by a single nucleotide difference that disrupts an exonic splice enhancer in exon 7. As a result, most of SMN2 mRNAs lack exon 7 (SMNΔ7) and produce a protein that is both unstable and less than fully functional. Although only 10–20% of the SMN2 gene product is fully functional, increased genomic copies of SMN2 inversely correlates with disease severity among individuals with SMA. Because SMN2 copy number influences disease severity in SMA, there is prognostic value in accurate measurement of SMN2 copy number from patients being evaluated for SMA. This prognostic value is especially important given that SMN2 copy number is now being used as an inclusion criterion for SMA clinical trials. In addition to SMA, copy number variations (CNVs) in the SMN genes can affect the clinical severity of other neurological disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and progressive muscular atrophy (PMA). This review will discuss how SMN1 and SMN2 CNVs are detected and why accurate measurement of SMN1 and SMN2 copy numbers is relevant for SMA and other neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27014701

  20. Reflex wind-up in early chronic spinal injury: plasticity of motor outputs.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Michael D; Frigon, Alain; Hurteau, Marie-France; Cain, Charlette; Heckman, C J

    2017-05-01

    In this study we evaluate temporal summation (wind-up) of reflexes in select distal and proximal hindlimb muscles in response to repeated stimuli of the distal tibial or superficial peroneal nerves in cats 1 mo after complete spinal transection. This report is a continuation of our previous paper on reflex wind-up in the intact and acutely spinalized cat. To evaluate reflex wind-up in both studies, we recorded electromyographic signals from the following left hindlimb muscles: lateral gastrocnemius (LG), tibialis anterior (TA), semitendinosus (ST), and sartorius (Srt), in response to 10 electrical pulses to the tibial or superficial peroneal nerves. Two distinct components of the reflex responses were considered, a short-latency compound action potential (CAP) and a longer duration bout of sustained activity (SA). These two response types were shown to be differentially modified by acute spinal injury in our previous work (Frigon A, Johnson MD, Heckman CJ. J Physiol 590: 973-989, 2012). We show that these responses exhibit continued plasticity during the 1-mo recovery period following acute spinalization. During this early chronic phase, wind-up of SA responses returned to preinjury levels in one muscle, the ST, but remained depressed in all other muscles tested. In contrast, CAP response amplitudes, which were initially potentiated following acute transection, returned to preinjury levels in all muscles except for Srt, which continued to show marked increase. These findings illustrate that spinal elements exhibit considerable plasticity during the recovery process following spinal injury and highlight the importance of considering SA and CAP responses as distinct phenomena with unique underlying neural mechanisms.NEW & NOTEWORTHY This research is the first to assess temporal summation, also called wind-up, of muscle reflexes during the 1-mo recovery period following spinal injury. Our results show that two types of muscle reflex activity are differentially

  1. Overexpression of the Astrocyte Glutamate Transporter GLT1 Exacerbates Phrenic Motor Neuron Degeneration, Diaphragm Compromise, and Forelimb Motor Dysfunction following Cervical Contusion Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ke; Nicaise, Charles; Sannie, Daniel; Hala, Tamara J.; Javed, Elham; Parker, Jessica L.; Putatunda, Rajarshi; Regan, Kathleen A.; Suain, Valérie; Brion, Jean-Pierre; Rhoderick, Fred; Wright, Megan C.; Poulsen, David J.

    2014-01-01

    A major portion of spinal cord injury (SCI) cases affect midcervical levels, the location of the phrenic motor neuron (PhMN) pool that innervates the diaphragm. While initial trauma is uncontrollable, a valuable opportunity exists in the hours to days following SCI for preventing PhMN loss and consequent respiratory dysfunction that occurs during secondary degeneration. One of the primary causes of secondary injury is excitotoxic cell death due to dysregulation of extracellular glutamate homeostasis. GLT1, mainly expressed by astrocytes, is responsible for the vast majority of functional uptake of extracellular glutamate in the CNS, particularly in spinal cord. We found that, in bacterial artificial chromosome-GLT1-enhanced green fluorescent protein reporter mice following unilateral midcervical (C4) contusion SCI, numbers of GLT1-expressing astrocytes in ventral horn and total intraspinal GLT1 protein expression were reduced soon after injury and the decrease persisted for ≥6 weeks. We used intraspinal delivery of adeno-associated virus type 8 (AAV8)-Gfa2 vector to rat cervical spinal cord ventral horn for targeting focal astrocyte GLT1 overexpression in areas of PhMN loss. Intraspinal delivery of AAV8-Gfa2-GLT1 resulted in transduction primarily of GFAP+ astrocytes that persisted for ≥6 weeks postinjury, as well as increased intraspinal GLT1 protein expression. Surprisingly, we found that astrocyte-targeted GLT1 overexpression increased lesion size, PhMN loss, phrenic nerve axonal degeneration, and diaphragm neuromuscular junction denervation, and resulted in reduced functional diaphragm innervation as assessed by phrenic nerve-diaphragm compound muscle action potential recordings. These results demonstrate that GLT1 overexpression via intraspinal AAV-Gfa2-GLT1 delivery exacerbates neuronal damage and increases respiratory impairment following cervical SCI. PMID:24872566

  2. The contractile properties of the medial gastrocnemius motor units innervated by L4 and L5 spinal nerves in the rat.

    PubMed

    Celichowski, Jan; Taborowska, Malwina

    2011-01-01

    When a muscle innervation originates from more than one spinal cord segment, the injury of one of the respective ventral roots evokes an overload, and alters the activity and properties of the remaining motor units. However, it is not well documented if the three types of motor units are equally represented within the innervating ventral roots. Single motor units in the rat medial gastrocnemius muscle were studied and their contractile properties as well as distribution of different types of motor units belonging to subpopulations innervated by axons in L4 and L5 ventral roots were analyzed. The composition of the three physiological types of motor units in the two subpopulations was similar. Force parameters were similar for motor units belonging to the two subpopulations. However, the twitch time parameters were slightly longer in L4 in comparison to L5 motor units although the difference was significant only for fast resistant to fatigue motor units. The force-frequency relationships in the two subpopulations of motor units were not different. Concluding, the two subpopulations of motor units in the studied muscle differ in the number of motor units, but contain similar proportions of the three physiological types of these units and their contractile properties are similar. Therefore, the injury of one ventral root evokes various degrees of muscle denervation, but is non-selective in relation to the three types of motor units.

  3. Effects of vertebral column distraction on transcranial electrical stimulation-motor evoked potential and histology of the spinal cord in a porcine model.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jae Hyuk; Suh, Seung Woo; Modi, Hitesh N; Ramani, Easwar T; Hong, Jae Young; Hwang, Jin Ho; Jung, Woon Yong

    2013-05-01

    Spinal cord injury can occur following surgical procedures for correction of scoliosis and kyphosis, as these procedures produce lengthening of the vertebral column. The objective of this study was to cause spinal cord injury by vertebral column distraction and evaluate the histological changes in the spinal cord in relationship to the pattern of recovery from the spinal cord injury. Global osteotomy of all three spinal columns was performed on the ninth thoracic vertebra of sixteen pigs. The osteotomized vertebra was distracted until transcranial electrical stimulation-motor evoked potential (TES-MEP) signals disappeared or decreased by >80% compared with the baseline amplitude; this was defined as spinal cord injury. The distraction distance at which spinal cord injury occurred was measured, the distraction was released, and the TES-MEP recovery pattern was observed. A wake-up test was performed, two days of observations were made, and histological changes were evaluated in relationship to the recovery pattern. Spinal cord injury developed at a distraction distance of 20.2 ± 4.7 mm, equivalent to 3.6% of the thoracolumbar spinal length, and the distraction distance was correlated with the thoracolumbar spinal length (r = 0.632, p = 0.009). No animals exhibited complete recovery according to TES-MEP testing, eleven exhibited incomplete recovery, and five exhibited no recovery. During the two days of observation, all eleven animals with incomplete recovery showed positive responses to sensory and motor tests, whereas none of the five animals with no recovery had positive responses. On histological evaluation, three animals that exhibited no recovery all showed complete severance of nerve fibers (axotomy), whereas six animals that exhibited incomplete recovery all showed partial white-matter injury. Parallel distraction of approximately 3.6% of the thoracolumbar length after global osteotomy resulted in spinal cord injury and histological evidence of spinal cord

  4. Spinal muscular atrophy phenotype is ameliorated in human motor neurons by SMN increase via different novel RNA therapeutic approaches

    PubMed Central

    Nizzardo, Monica; Simone, Chiara; Dametti, Sara; Salani, Sabrina; Ulzi, Gianna; Pagliarani, Serena; Rizzo, Federica; Frattini, Emanuele; Pagani, Franco; Bresolin, Nereo; Comi, Giacomo; Corti, Stefania

    2015-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a primary genetic cause of infant mortality due to mutations in the Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) 1 gene. No cure is available. Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) aimed at increasing SMN levels from the paralogous SMN2 gene represent a possible therapeutic strategy. Here, we tested in SMA human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and iPSC-differentiated motor neurons, three different RNA approaches based on morpholino antisense targeting of the ISSN-1, exon-specific U1 small nuclear RNA (ExSpeU1), and Transcription Activator-Like Effector-Transcription Factor (TALE-TF). All strategies act modulating SMN2 RNA: ASO affects exon 7 splicing, TALE-TF increase SMN2 RNA acting on the promoter, while ExSpeU1 improves pre-mRNA processing. These approaches induced up-regulation of full-length SMN mRNA and differentially affected the Delta-7 isoform: ASO reduced this isoform, while ExSpeU1 and TALE-TF increased it. All approaches upregulate the SMN protein and significantly improve the in vitro SMA motor neurons survival. Thus, these findings demonstrate that therapeutic tools that act on SMN2 RNA are able to rescue the SMA disease phenotype. Our data confirm the feasibility of SMA iPSCs as in vitro disease models and we propose novel RNA approaches as potential therapeutic strategies for treating SMA and other genetic neurological disorders. PMID:26123042

  5. Could motor imagery be effective in upper limb rehabilitation of individuals with spinal cord injury? A case study.

    PubMed

    Grangeon, M; Revol, P; Guillot, A; Rode, G; Collet, C

    2012-10-01

    A case study. The aim was to investigate whether motor imagery (MI) could be successfully incorporated into conventional therapy among individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) to improve upper limb (UL) function. The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Unit at the Henry Gabrielle Hospital in Lyon, France. The participant was an individual with a complete C6 SCI. MI content was focused on functional UL movements, to improve hand transport to reach out and grasp with tenodesis. The participant was tested before and after 15 MI training sessions (45 min each, three times a week during 5 consecutive weeks). MI ability and program compliance were used as indicators of feasibility. The Minnesota and Box and Blocks tests, as well as movement time and hand trajectory during targeted movements were the dependent variables, evaluating motor performance before and after MI training. The participant's ability to generate MI was checked and compliance with the rehabilitation program was confirmed. The time needed to complete the Minnesota test decreased by 1 min 25 s. The Box and Blocks score was improved by three units after MI program. Decreased movement time and enhanced hand trajectory smoothness were still observed 3 months later, despite a slight decrease in performance. This study supports the feasibility for introducing MI in conventional therapy. Further studies should confirm the potential role of MI in motor recovery with a larger sample.

  6. Spinal muscular atrophy phenotype is ameliorated in human motor neurons by SMN increase via different novel RNA therapeutic approaches.

    PubMed

    Nizzardo, Monica; Simone, Chiara; Dametti, Sara; Salani, Sabrina; Ulzi, Gianna; Pagliarani, Serena; Rizzo, Federica; Frattini, Emanuele; Pagani, Franco; Bresolin, Nereo; Comi, Giacomo; Corti, Stefania

    2015-06-30

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a primary genetic cause of infant mortality due to mutations in the Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) 1 gene. No cure is available. Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) aimed at increasing SMN levels from the paralogous SMN2 gene represent a possible therapeutic strategy. Here, we tested in SMA human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and iPSC-differentiated motor neurons, three different RNA approaches based on morpholino antisense targeting of the ISSN-1, exon-specific U1 small nuclear RNA (ExSpeU1), and Transcription Activator-Like Effector-Transcription Factor (TALE-TF). All strategies act modulating SMN2 RNA: ASO affects exon 7 splicing, TALE-TF increase SMN2 RNA acting on the promoter, while ExSpeU1 improves pre-mRNA processing. These approaches induced up-regulation of full-length SMN mRNA and differentially affected the Delta-7 isoform: ASO reduced this isoform, while ExSpeU1 and TALE-TF increased it. All approaches upregulate the SMN protein and significantly improve the in vitro SMA motor neurons survival. Thus, these findings demonstrate that therapeutic tools that act on SMN2 RNA are able to rescue the SMA disease phenotype. Our data confirm the feasibility of SMA iPSCs as in vitro disease models and we propose novel RNA approaches as potential therapeutic strategies for treating SMA and other genetic neurological disorders.

  7. Incidence and pattern of traumatic spinal fractures and associated spinal cord injury resulting from motor vehicle collisions in China over 11 years

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hongwei; Liu, Xinwei; Zhao, Yiwen; Ou, Lan; Zhou, Yue; Li, Changqing; Liu, Jun; Chen, Yu; Yu, Hailong; Wang, Qi; Han, Jianda; Xiang, Liangbi

    2016-01-01

    Abstract To investigate the incidence and pattern of traumatic spinal fractures (TSFs) and associated spinal cord injury (SCI) resulting from motor vehicle collisions (MVCs). This was a cross-sectional study. We retrospectively reviewed 698 patients with TSFs resulting from MVCs admitted to our university-affiliated hospitals from 2001 to 2011. The incidence and pattern were summarized with respect to different age groups, fracture levels, and the role of patients. There were 464 males (66.5%) and 234 females (33.5%) aged 40.5 ± 13.8 years old. The most common roles of patients in MVCs were car drivers (189, 27.1%), pedestrians hurt by a car (155, 22.2%), and car passengers (145, 20.8%). The most common fracture levels were L1 (n = 198, 19.2%) and T12 (n = 116, 11.3%), followed by C2 (n = 86, 8.3%). A total of 298 (42.7%) patients suffered a spinal cord injury. The frequencies of SCIs decreased from 53.1% to 24.6% with increasing age. The patients in the 20 to 39 age group (45.3% of all patients) had the largest sex ratio (2.4) and highest frequency of complete SCIs (19.3%) and complications (3.2%). Motorcycle drivers had the youngest mean age (35.7 ± 10.2), largest sex ratio (10.4), and highest frequency of SCIs (56.0%) and complications (4.4%). Motorcycle passengers had the highest frequency of complete SCI (22.7%) and ASOIs (45.5%) and the largest mean injury severity scoring (ISS) (18.9 ± 9.6). The most common fracture levels of motorcycle drivers were C3–C7, while that of others were T11–L2. The most common role of patients who sustained TSFs were car drivers who were 20 to 39 years old. Motorcycle drivers had the highest frequency of SCIs and complications. Motorcycle passengers had the highest frequency of complete SCIs and ASOIs and the largest ISS. Therefore, we should pay more attention to MVC patients, especially car drivers and motorcycle drivers and passengers. PMID:27787384

  8. Incidence and pattern of traumatic spinal fractures and associated spinal cord injury resulting from motor vehicle collisions in China over 11 years: An observational study.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongwei; Liu, Xinwei; Zhao, Yiwen; Ou, Lan; Zhou, Yue; Li, Changqing; Liu, Jun; Chen, Yu; Yu, Hailong; Wang, Qi; Han, Jianda; Xiang, Liangbi

    2016-10-01

    To investigate the incidence and pattern of traumatic spinal fractures (TSFs) and associated spinal cord injury (SCI) resulting from motor vehicle collisions (MVCs).This was a cross-sectional study. We retrospectively reviewed 698 patients with TSFs resulting from MVCs admitted to our university-affiliated hospitals from 2001 to 2011. The incidence and pattern were summarized with respect to different age groups, fracture levels, and the role of patients.There were 464 males (66.5%) and 234 females (33.5%) aged 40.5 ± 13.8 years old. The most common roles of patients in MVCs were car drivers (189, 27.1%), pedestrians hurt by a car (155, 22.2%), and car passengers (145, 20.8%). The most common fracture levels were L1 (n = 198, 19.2%) and T12 (n = 116, 11.3%), followed by C2 (n = 86, 8.3%). A total of 298 (42.7%) patients suffered a spinal cord injury. The frequencies of SCIs decreased from 53.1% to 24.6% with increasing age. The patients in the 20 to 39 age group (45.3% of all patients) had the largest sex ratio (2.4) and highest frequency of complete SCIs (19.3%) and complications (3.2%). Motorcycle drivers had the youngest mean age (35.7 ± 10.2), largest sex ratio (10.4), and highest frequency of SCIs (56.0%) and complications (4.4%). Motorcycle passengers had the highest frequency of complete SCI (22.7%) and ASOIs (45.5%) and the largest mean injury severity scoring (ISS) (18.9 ± 9.6). The most common fracture levels of motorcycle drivers were C3-C7, while that of others were T11-L2.The most common role of patients who sustained TSFs were car drivers who were 20 to 39 years old. Motorcycle drivers had the highest frequency of SCIs and complications. Motorcycle passengers had the highest frequency of complete SCIs and ASOIs and the largest ISS. Therefore, we should pay more attention to MVC patients, especially car drivers and motorcycle drivers and passengers.

  9. Increases in vocalization and motor reflex thresholds are influenced by the site of morphine microinjection: comparisons following administration into the periaqueductal gray, ventral medulla, and spinal subarachnoid space.

    PubMed

    Borszcz, G S

    1995-06-01

    The relative influence of morphine microinjected into the periaqueductal gray, ventral medulla (nucleus raphé magnus or nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis), or spinal subarachnoid space on the thresholds of responses organized at spinal (spinal motor reflexes, SMRs), medullary (vocalizations elicited during shock, VDSs), and rhinencephalic-diencephalic (vocalization after discharges, VADs) levels of the neuraxis was assessed. Dose-dependent increases in response thresholds differed with the site of morphine injection. These results indicate that the mu-opiate-receptor-linked systems in the mesencephalon, medulla, and spinal cord exert differential antinociceptive effects on pain behaviors organized at different levels of the neuraxis. A hypothesis is offered regarding the mechanisms through which morphine inhibits nociceptive transmission through various levels of the CNS. VADs are promoted as a model system for analyzing the affective-motivational dimension of the pain experience.

  10. Confirmation of the spinal motor neuron gene 2 (SMN2) copy numbers by real-time PCR.

    PubMed

    Wieme, Maamouri-Hicheri; Monia Ben, Hammer; Yosr, Bouhlal; Sihem, Souilem; Nawel, Toumi; Ines, Manai-Azizi; Wajdi, Bennour; Najla, Khmiri; Houda, Nahdi; Faycal, Hentati; Rim, Amouri

    2012-09-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disease caused by mutation or deletion of the survival motor neuron gene 1 (SMN1). SMN2, a copy gene, influences the severity of SMA and may be used in somatic gene therapy of patients with SMA in the future. The SMA carrier analysis developed at the Institute of Medical Genetics, Catholic University (Rome), on the Applied Biosystems real-time PCR instruments by Dr Danilo Tiziano and his group, provides a robust workflow to evaluate SMA carrier status. In this study, the SMN2 copy number was confirmed on 22 patients by developing our own assay on the basis of a relative real-time PCR system using the 7500 Fast Real-Time PCR System.

  11. Changes in the Neurochemical Composition of Motor Neurons of the Spinal Cord in Mice under Conditions of Space Flight.

    PubMed

    Porseva, V V; Shilkin, V V; Strelkov, A A; Krasnov, I B; Masliukov, P M

    2017-01-01

    Expression of choline acetyltransferase, 200-kDa neurofilament protein, 28-kDa calbindin, neuronal NO synthase, caspase 3, and Ki-67 in the motor neurons of spinal cord segments T3-T5 in male C57Bl/6 mice after 30-day space flight in the Bion-M1 biosatellite was studied by immunohistochemical methods. Under conditions space flight, the size of motoneurons increased, the number of neurons containing choline acetyltransferase and neurofilaments, decreased, and the number of calbindin-positive neurons increased; motoneurons, expressing neuronal NO synthase and caspase 3 appeared, while Ki-67 was not detected. Fragmentation of neurons with the formation structures similar to apoptotic (residual) bodies was observed in individual caspase 3-positive motoneurons.

  12. Discovery and Optimization of Small Molecule Splicing Modifiers of Survival Motor Neuron 2 as a Treatment for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Woll, Matthew G; Qi, Hongyan; Turpoff, Anthony; Zhang, Nanjing; Zhang, Xiaoyan; Chen, Guangming; Li, Chunshi; Huang, Song; Yang, Tianle; Moon, Young-Choon; Lee, Chang-Sun; Choi, Soongyu; Almstead, Neil G; Naryshkin, Nikolai A; Dakka, Amal; Narasimhan, Jana; Gabbeta, Vijayalakshmi; Welch, Ellen; Zhao, Xin; Risher, Nicole; Sheedy, Josephine; Weetall, Marla; Karp, Gary M

    2016-07-14

    The underlying cause of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a deficiency of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. Starting from hits identified in a high-throughput screening campaign and through structure-activity relationship investigations, we have developed small molecules that potently shift the alternative splicing of the SMN2 exon 7, resulting in increased production of the full-length SMN mRNA and protein. Three novel chemical series, represented by compounds 9, 14, and 20, have been optimized to increase the level of SMN protein by >50% in SMA patient-derived fibroblasts at concentrations of <160 nM. Daily administration of these compounds to severe SMA Δ7 mice results in an increased production of SMN protein in disease-relevant tissues and a significant increase in median survival time in a dose-dependent manner. Our work supports the development of an orally administered small molecule for the treatment of patients with SMA.

  13. Effect of dexmedetomidine-etomidate-fentanyl combined anesthesia on somatosensory- and motor-evoked potentials in patients undergoing spinal surgery.

    PubMed

    Lin, Sheng; Dai, Na; Cheng, Zhengyan; Shao, Wei; Fu, Zhijian

    2014-05-01

    This aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of dexmedetomidine (DEX) on the intraoperative monitoring of somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs) and motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) in patients undergoing spinal surgery. A total of 36 patients who received spinal surgery under general anesthesia were randomly divided into two groups (n=18 per group), group C, the test group and group D, the control group, and these groups were subjected to a matching anesthesia induction. In brief, the anesthesia was administered via injection of etomidate and fentanyl; once the patients were unconscious, a laryngeal mask airway (LMA) was inserted, SEPs and MEPs were monitored and the collected data were considered to be basic data. Cisatracurium was subsequently injected and an endotracheal tube (7#) was inserted to replace the LMA. The following procedures were conducted for anesthesia maintenance: Group C, the anesthesia was maintained via target-controlled infusion of etomidate and intermittent injection of fentanyl; and group D, DEX (0.5 μg/kg) was injected over a duration of 10 min and then pumped at a rate of 0.5 μg/kg/h. In the two groups, all of the other drugs used were the same and a muscle relaxant was not administered. The bispectral index was maintained between 45 and 55 during surgery, and the SEPs and MEPs were monitored continuously until the surgery was completed. No significant difference in duration and amplitude of the SEPs (P15-N20) was identified between group C and D (P>0.05). Furthermore, the MEPs were monitored in the two groups at specific durations and no significant difference was observed between the two groups (P>0.05). The SEPs and MEPs were maintained in the patients who were administered with the DEX-etomidate-fentanyl combined anesthesia during spinal surgery.

  14. The astrocytic transporter SLC7A10 (Asc-1) mediates glycinergic inhibition of spinal cord motor neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ehmsen, Jeffrey T.; Liu, Yong; Wang, Yue; Paladugu, Nikhil; Johnson, Anna E.; Rothstein, Jeffrey D.; du Lac, Sascha; Mattson, Mark P.; Höke, Ahmet

    2016-01-01

    SLC7A10 (Asc-1) is a sodium-independent amino acid transporter known to facilitate transport of a number of amino acids including glycine, L-serine, L-alanine, and L-cysteine, as well as their D-enantiomers. It has been described as a neuronal transporter with a primary role related to modulation of excitatory glutamatergic neurotransmission. We find that SLC7A10 is substantially enriched in a subset of astrocytes of the caudal brain and spinal cord in a distribution corresponding with high densities of glycinergic inhibitory synapses. Accordingly, we find that spinal cord glycine levels are significantly reduced in Slc7a10-null mice and spontaneous glycinergic postsynaptic currents in motor neurons show substantially diminished amplitudes, demonstrating an essential role for SLC7A10 in glycinergic inhibitory function in the central nervous system. These observations establish the etiology of sustained myoclonus (sudden involuntary muscle movements) and early postnatal lethality characteristic of Slc7a10-null mice, and implicate SLC7A10 as a candidate gene and auto-antibody target in human hyperekplexia and stiff person syndrome, respectively. PMID:27759100

  15. Spinal motor neuron neuroaxonal spheroids in chronic aluminum neurotoxicity contain phosphatase-resistant high molecular weight neurofilament (NFH).

    PubMed

    Gaytan-Garcia, S; Kim, H; Strong, M J

    1996-04-15

    It has previously been shown that a single intracisternal inoculum of AlCl3 in young adult New Zealand white rabbits will induce a dose-dependent phosphatase resistance of high molecular weight neurofilament protein (NFH) that is proportionate to the extent of neurofilamentous inclusion formation (Strong and Jakowec, 1994). To determine if the potential for dissolution of aluminum-induced neurofilamentous inclusions was dependent on the degree of NFH phosphatase resistance, we have examined NFH phosphatase sensitivity in a reversible chronic model of aluminum neurotoxicity. Rabbits receiving repeated intracisternal inoculums of 100 microgram AlCl3 at 28 day intervals until day 267 develop spinal motor neuron perikaryal and neuroaxonal neurofilamentous aggregates in a stereotypic, dose-dependent fashion. In the rabbits receiving inoculums until day 156 with survival until day 267 without further aluminum exposure, neuroaxonal spheroids remained prominent while perikaryal inclusions largely resolved. Immunoreactivity to a monoclonal antibody recognizing phosphorylated NFH (SMI 31) was abolished in perikaryal aggregates at each time interval by dephosphorylation with bovine alkaline phosphatase. However, neuroaxonal spheroids maintained their immunoreactivity. Using time-course dephosphorylation studies of spinal cord homogenates, we observed a significant reduction in the rate of dephosphorylation of NFH following 267 days of AlCl3 exposure (P < 0.05). These observations suggest that neuroaxonal spheroids contain phosphatase-resistant NFH isoforms and that the potential for resolution of intraneuronal neurofilamentous inclusions correlates with the susceptibility of NF within these inclusions to enzymatic dephosphorylation.

  16. CNS-targeted gene therapy improves survival and motor function in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Passini, Marco A.; Bu, Jie; Roskelley, Eric M.; Richards, Amy M.; Sardi, S. Pablo; O’Riordan, Catherine R.; Klinger, Katherine W.; Shihabuddin, Lamya S.; Cheng, Seng H.

    2010-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disease caused by a deficiency of survival motor neuron (SMN) due to mutations in the SMN1 gene. In this study, an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector expressing human SMN (AAV8-hSMN) was injected at birth into the CNS of mice modeling SMA. Western blot analysis showed that these injections resulted in widespread expression of SMN throughout the spinal cord, and this translated into robust improvement in skeletal muscle physiology, including increased myofiber size and improved neuromuscular junction architecture. Treated mice also displayed substantial improvements on behavioral tests of muscle strength, coordination, and locomotion, indicating that the neuromuscular junction was functional. Treatment with AAV8-hSMN increased the median life span of mice with SMA-like disease to 50 days compared with 15 days for untreated controls. Moreover, injecting mice with SMA-like disease with a human SMN–expressing self-complementary AAV vector — a vector that leads to earlier onset of gene expression compared with standard AAV vectors — led to improved efficacy of gene therapy, including a substantial extension in median survival to 157 days. These data indicate that CNS-directed, AAV-mediated SMN augmentation is highly efficacious in addressing both neuronal and muscular pathologies in a severe mouse model of SMA. PMID:20234094

  17. Virtual reality-augmented neurorehabilitation improves motor function and reduces neuropathic pain in patients with incomplete spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Villiger, Michael; Bohli, Dominik; Kiper, Daniel; Pyk, Pawel; Spillmann, Jeremy; Meilick, Bruno; Curt, Armin; Hepp-Reymond, Marie-Claude; Hotz-Boendermaker, Sabina; Eng, Kynan

    2013-10-01

    Neurorehabilitation interventions to improve lower limb function and neuropathic pain have had limited success in people with chronic, incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI). We hypothesized that intense virtual reality (VR)-augmented training of observed and executed leg movements would improve limb function and neuropathic pain. Patients used a VR system with a first-person view of virtual lower limbs, controlled via movement sensors fitted to the patient's own shoes. Four tasks were used to deliver intensive training of individual muscles (tibialis anterior, quadriceps, leg ad-/abductors). The tasks engaged motivation through feedback of task success. Fourteen chronic iSCI patients were treated over 4 weeks in 16 to 20 sessions of 45 minutes. Outcome measures were 10 Meter Walking Test, Berg Balance Scale, Lower Extremity Motor Score, Spinal Cord Independence Measure, Locomotion and Neuropathic Pain Scale (NPS), obtained at the start and at 4 to 6 weeks before intervention. In addition to positive changes reported by the patients (Patients' Global Impression of Change), measures of walking capacity, balance, and strength revealed improvements in lower limb function. Intensity and unpleasantness of neuropathic pain in half of the affected participants were reduced on the NPS test. Overall findings remained stable 12 to 16 weeks after termination of the training. In a pretest/posttest, uncontrolled design, VR-augmented training was associated with improvements in motor function and neuropathic pain in persons with chronic iSCI, several of which reached the level of a minimal clinically important change. A controlled trial is needed to compare this intervention to active training alone or in combination.

  18. The impact of acute management on the occurrence of medical complications during the specialized spinal cord injury acute hospitalization following motor-complete cervical spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Richard-Denis, Andréane; Erhmann Feldman, Debbie; Thompson, Cynthia; Mac-Thiong, Jean-Marc

    2017-07-19

    Determine the impact of early admission and complete perioperative management in a specialized spinal cord injury (SCI) trauma center (SCI-center) on the occurrence of medical complications following tetraplegia. A retrospective comparative cohort study of prospectively collected data involving 116 individuals was conducted. Group 1 (N=87) was early managed in a SCI-center promptly after the trauma, whereas Group 2 (N=29) was surgically and preoperatively managed in a non-specialized (NS) center before being transferred to the SCI-center. Bivariate comparisons and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to assess the relationship between the type of acute care facility and the occurrence of medical complications. Length of stay (LOS) in acute care was also compared. Single Level-1 trauma center. Individuals with acute traumatic motor-complete cervical SCI. Not applicable Outcome measures: The occurrence of complications during the SCI-center stay. There was a similar rate of complications between the two groups. However, the LOS was greater in Group 2 (p=0.04). High cervical injuries (C1-C4) showed an important tendency to increase the likelihood of developing a complication, while high cervical injuries and increased trauma severity increased the odds of developing respiratory complications. Although complication rates were similar in non-specialized and specialized centers, peri-operative management in a non-specialized center required a longer length of stay. Prompt transfer to a SCI-center may optimize the care trajectory by favoring earlier transfer to rehabilitation.

  19. Convection enhanced drug delivery of BDNF through a microcannula in a rodent model to strengthen connectivity of a peripheral motor nerve bridge model to bypass spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Martin Bauknight, W; Chakrabarty, Samit; Hwang, Brian Y; Malone, Hani R; Joshi, Shailendra; Bruce, Jeffrey N; Sander Connolly, E; Winfree, Christopher J; Cunningham, Miles G; Martin, John H; Haque, Raqeeb

    2012-04-01

    Models employing peripheral nerve to bypass spinal cord injury (SCI), although highly promising, may benefit from improved nerve regeneration and motor bridge connectivity. Recent studies have demonstrated that neuronal growth factor-induced enhancement of endogenous neurorestoration may improve neuronal connectivity after severe neurologic injury, particularly if delivered intraparenchymally with zero-order kinetics. We sought to investigate the effect of convection-enhanced delivery of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neuronal growth factor, on the connectivity of a peripheral motor-nerve bridge in a rodent model using electrophysiology and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Spinal cords of 29 female rats were hemisected at the L1 level. Ipsilateral T13 peripheral nerves were dissected from their muscular targets distally, while maintaining their connections with the spinal cord, and inserted caudal to the injury site to establish the nerve bridge. A microcannula attached to a six-week mini-osmotic pump was used to deliver either BDNF (n=12), saline (n=14), or fluorescein dye (n=3) directly into the spinal cord parenchyma between the site of nerve insertion and hemisection to a depth of 2mm into the area of the lateral motor pool. After four weeks, gastrocnemius muscle activation was assessed electromyographically in five animals from each group. Spinal cords were harvested and analyzed with IHC for cannula-associated injury, and nerve regeneration. Strength of motor bridge connection was illustrated by electrophysiology data. Intraspinal BDNF levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. IHC revealed increased intraparenchymal BDNF concentration at the nerve bridge insertion site with evidence of minimal trauma from cannulation. BDNF infusion resulted in stronger connections between bridge nerves and spinal motor axons. Bridge nerve electrical stimulation in BDNF-treated rats evoked hind leg electromyogram responses of shorter latency and

  20. Spinal muscular atrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000996.htm Spinal muscular atrophy To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Spinal muscular atrophy is a group of disorders of the motor ...

  1. Brain-computer interface targeting non-motor functions after spinal cord injury: a case report.

    PubMed

    Salisbury, D B; Driver, S; Parsons, T D

    2015-03-01

    This is a case report. The objective of this study was to report on a brain-computer interface (BCI) paradigm that is successfully used with an inpatient spinal cord injury patient. This study was conducted in an inpatient rehabilitation hospital. A 25-year-old man with a C5 burst fracture and subsequent tetraplegia (The American Spinal Injury Association) participated in this case study. He completed a brief battery of psychological, pain, cognitive and other screening measures at points before and after the BCI paradigm during his rehabilitation hospitalization. The paradigm was easily learned and well tolerated with no adverse effects. This case is reflective of the trends in our ongoing feasibility study evaluating BCI technology in the inpatient rehabilitation setting. Clinical implications and challenges of using this technology in a busy hospital unit are reviewed.

  2. Inosine Enhances Axon Sprouting and Motor Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Daniel; Zai, Laila; Liang, Peng; Schaffling, Colleen; Ahlborn, David; Benowitz, Larry I.

    2013-01-01

    Although corticospinal tract axons cannot regenerate long distances after spinal cord injury, they are able to sprout collateral branches rostral to an injury site that can help form compensatory circuits in cases of incomplete lesions. We show here that inosine enhances the formation of compensatory circuits after a dorsal hemisection of the thoracic spinal cord in mature rats and improves coordinated limb use. Inosine is a naturally occurring metabolite of adenosine that crosses the cell membrane and, in neurons, activates Mst3b, a protein kinase that is part of a signal transduction pathway that regulates axon outgrowth. Compared to saline-treated controls, rats with dorsal hemisections that were treated with inosine showed three times as many synaptic contacts between corticospinal tract collaterals and long propriospinal interneurons that project from the cervical cord to the lumbar level. Inosine-treated rats also showed stronger serotonergic reinnervation of the lumbar cord than saline-treated controls, and performed well above controls in both open-field testing and a horizontal ladder rung-walking test. Inosine was equally effective whether delivered intracranially or intravenously, and has been shown to be safe for other indications in humans. Thus, inosine might be a useful therapeutic for improving outcome after spinal cord injury. PMID:24312612

  3. Comparison of Motor-Evoked Potentials Versus Somatosensory-Evoked Potentials as Early Indicators of Neural Compromise in Rat Model of Spinal Cord Compression.

    PubMed

    Morris, Susan H; Howard, Jason J; El-Hawary, Ron

    2017-03-15

    Randomized controlled study comparing the efficacy of intraoperative somatosensory-evoked potentials (SSEPs) versus transcranial motor-evoked potentials (TcMEPs) as early indicators of neural compromise and predictors of postoperative function in a rat model of spinal cord compression. To compare the relative efficacy of SSEPs and TcMEPs to detect spinal cord compromise and predict postoperative functional deficit after spinal cord compression. There is controversy regarding the efficacy of SSEPs versus TcMEPs to detect intraoperative spinal cord compromise and predict functional outcomes. Previous trials provide some guidance as to the role of each modality in spinal cord monitoring but randomized controlled trials, which are not feasible in humans, are lacking. Twenty-four adult male Wistar rats were evenly divided into three experimental groups and one control group. The experimental groups were determined according to the length of time that 100% TcMEP signal loss was maintained: 0, 5, or 15 minutes. All animals had standardized preoperative functional testing. Spinal cord compromise was initiated utilizing a validated protocol, which involved compression via a balloon catheter introduced into the thoracic sublaminar space. Both SSEPs and TcMEPs were recorded during cord compression for each experimental group. Functional behavioral testing using two validated methods (tilt and modified Tarlov) was repeated 24 hours after termination of spinal cord compression. Post hoc, animals were redistributed into two functional subgroups, noncompromised and compromised, for statistical analysis. TcMEPs consistently detected spinal cord compromise either in advance of or at the same time as SSEPs; however, the delay in SSEP response was not significant for cases when compromised postoperative function resulted. Both SSEP and TcMEP amplitude recovery correlated well with postoperative functional scores. TcMEPs are more sensitive to spinal cord compromise than SSEPs, but the

  4. Riluzole promotes motor and respiratory recovery associated with enhanced neuronal survival and function following high cervical spinal hemisection.

    PubMed

    Satkunendrarajah, K; Nassiri, F; Karadimas, S K; Lip, A; Yao, G; Fehlings, M G

    2016-02-01

    Cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) can result in devastating functional deficits that involve the respiratory and hand function. The mammalian spinal cord has limited ability to regenerate and restore meaningful functional recovery following SCI. Riluzole, 2-amino-6-trifluoromethoxybenzothiazole, an anti-glutamatergic drug has been shown to reduce excitotoxicity and confer neuroprotection at the site of injury following experimental SCI. Based on promising preclinical studies, riluzole is currently under Phase III clinical trial for the treatment of SCI (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01597518). Riluzole's anti-glutamatergic role has the potential to regulate neuronal function and provide neuroprotection and influence glutamatergic connections distal to the initial injury leading to enhanced functional recovery following SCI. In order to investigate this novel role of riluzole we used a high cervical hemisection model of SCI, which interrupts all descending input to motoneurons innervating the ipsilateral forelimb and diaphragm muscles. Following C2 spinal cord hemisection, animals were placed into one of two groups: one group received riluzole (8 mg/kg) 1 h after injury and every 12 h thereafter for 7 days at 6 mg/kg, while the second group of injured rats received vehicle solution for the same duration of time. A third group of sham injured rats underwent a C2 laminectomy without hemisection and served as uninjured control rats. Interestingly, this study reports a significant loss of motoneurons within the cervical spinal cord caudal to C2 hemisection injury. Disruption of descending input led to a decrease in glutamatergic synapses and motoneurons caudal to the injury while riluzole treatment significantly limited this decline. Functionally, Hoffmann reflex recordings revealed an increase in the excitability of the remaining ipsilateral cervical motoneurons and significant improvements in skilled and unskilled forelimb function and respiratory motor function in the

  5. Study of Effect of Salvianolic Acid B on Motor Function Recovery in Rats with Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Xun, Chong; Hu, Yang; Lu, Ming; Wang, Shouyu

    2014-01-01

    In this study effect of salvianolic acid B was observed on motor function recovery of rats with spinal cord injury. 50 rats were selected and after inducing SCI their recovery under controlled conditions was studied using Sal B and PBS (as control). Both compounds were introduced intraperitoneally in respective groups of traumatic rats at the same time intervals for 28 days. It was observed that Sal B introduced at 5  mg/kg/day resulted in better motor function recovery. BBB score was recorded which increased significantly along with the reduction in cavity area observed by bright field microscopy of tissues, that is, from 1 to 10 and from 0.20 ± 0.05 mm2 to 0.10 ± 0.03 mm2, in Sal B treated group, respectively, compared to PBS group. Statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS software (SPSS, Chicago, IL, USA), values were expressed as mean ± SEM, and P value <0.01 was considered significant. Effect of Sal B on expression of NF-kB p65 and IkBα was studied and OD values of densitometry of western blots were taken. MPO activity was also studied. It was observed that treatment of Sal B significantly reduced the expression of both compounds in Sal B treated group as compared to control group after 28 days of treatment. PMID:24757683

  6. Sciatic nerve grafting and inoculation of FGF-2 promotes improvement of motor behavior and fiber regrowth in rats with spinal cord transection.

    PubMed

    Guzen, Fausto Pierdoná; Soares, Joacil Germano; de Freitas, Leandro Moura; Cavalcanti, José Rodolfo Lopes de Paiva; Oliveira, Francisco Gilberto; Araújo, John Fontenele; Cavalcante, Jeferson de Souza; Cavalcante, Judney Cley; do Nascimento, Expedito Silva; de Oliveira Costa, Miriam Stela Maris

    2012-01-01

    Failure of severed adult central nervous system (CNS) axons to regenerate could be attributed with a reduced intrinsic growing capacity. Severe spinal cord injury is frequently associated with a permanent loss of function because the surviving neurons are impaired to regrow their fibers and to reestablish functional contacts. Peripheral nerves are known as good substrate for bridging CNS trauma with neurotrophic factor addition. We evaluated whether fibroblastic growth factor 2 (FGF-2) placed in a gap promoted by complete transection of the spinal cord may increase the ability of sciatic nerve graft to enhance motor recovery and fibers regrow. We used a complete spinal cord transection model. Rats received a 4 mm-long gap at low thoracic level and were repaired with saline (control) or fragment of the sciatic nerve (Nerve) or FGF-2 was added to nerve fragment (Nerve+FGF-2) to the grafts immediately after complete transection. The hind limbs performance was evaluated weekly for 8 weeks by using motor behavior score (BBB) and sensorimotor tests-linked to the combined behavior score (CBS), which indicate the degree of the motor improvement and the percentage of functional deficit, respectively. Neuronal plasticity were evaluated at the epicenter of the injury using MAP-2 and GAP-43 expression. Spinal cord treatment with sciatic nerve and sciatic nerve plus FGF-2 allowed recovery of hind limb movements compared to control, manifested by significantly higher behavioral scores. Higher amounts of MAP-2 and GAP-43 immunoreactive fibers were found in the epicenter of the graft when FGF-2 was added. FGF-2 added to the nerve graft favored the motor recovery and fiber regrowth. Thus, these results encourage us to explore autologous transplantation as a novel and promising cell therapy for treatment of spinal cord lesion.

  7. Intraoperative Motor-Evoked Potential Disappearance versus Amplitude-Decrement Alarm Criteria During Cervical Spinal Surgery: A Long-Term Prognosis

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Dong-Gun; Choi, Young-Doo; Jin, Seung-Hyun; Kim, Chi Heon; Lee, Kwang-Woo; Park, Kyung Seok

    2017-01-01

    Background and Purpose We studied the clinical significance of amplitude-reduction and disappearance alarm criteria for transcranial electric muscle motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) during cervical spinal surgery according to different lesion locations [intramedullary (IM) vs. nonintramedullary (NIM)] by evaluating the long-term postoperative motor status. Methods In total, 723 patients were retrospectively dichotomized into the IM and NIM groups. Each limb was analyzed respectively. One hundred and sixteen limbs from 30 patients with IM tumors and 2,761 limbs from 693 patients without IM tumors were enrolled. Postoperative motor deficits were assessed up to 6 months after surgery. Results At the end of surgery, 61 limbs (2.2%) in the NIM group and 14 limbs (12.1%) in the IM group showed MEP amplitudes that had decreased to below 50% of baseline, with 13 of the NIM limbs (21.3%) and 2 of the IM limbs (14.3%) showing MEP disappearance. Thirteen NIM limbs (0.5%) and 5 IM limbs (4.3%) showed postoperative motor deficits. The criterion for disappearance showed a lower sensitivity for the immediate motor deficit than did the criterion for amplitude decrement in both the IM and NIM groups. However, the disappearance criterion showed the same sensitivity as the 70%-decrement criterion in IM (100%) and NIM (83%) surgeries for the motor deficit at 6 months after surgery. Moreover, it has the highest specificity for the motor deficits among diverse alarm criteria, from 24 hours to 6 months after surgery, in both the IM and NIM groups. Conclusions The MEP disappearance alarm criterion had a high specificity in predicting the long-term prognosis after cervical spinal surgery. However, because it can have a low sensitivity in predicting an immediate postoperative deficit, combining different MEP alarm criteria according to the aim of specific instances of cervical spinal surgery is likely to be useful in practical intraoperative monitoring. PMID:27730765

  8. The influence of time from injury to surgery on motor recovery and length of hospital stay in acute traumatic spinal cord injury: an observational Canadian cohort study.

    PubMed

    Dvorak, Marcel F; Noonan, Vanessa K; Fallah, Nader; Fisher, Charles G; Finkelstein, Joel; Kwon, Brian K; Rivers, Carly S; Ahn, Henry; Paquet, Jérôme; Tsai, Eve C; Townson, Andrea; Attabib, Najmedden; Bailey, Christopher S; Christie, Sean D; Drew, Brian; Fourney, Daryl R; Fox, Richard; Hurlbert, R John; Johnson, Michael G; Linassi, A G; Parent, Stefan; Fehlings, Michael G

    2015-05-01

    To determine the influence of time from injury to surgery on neurological recovery and length of stay (LOS) in an observational cohort of individuals with traumatic spinal cord injury (tSCI), we analyzed the baseline and follow-up motor scores of participants in the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry to specifically assess the effect of an early (less than 24 h from injury) surgical procedure on motor recovery and on LOS. One thousand four hundred and ten patients who sustained acute tSCIs with baseline American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale (AIS) grades A, B, C, or D and were treated surgically were analyzed to determine the effect of the timing of surgery (24, 48, or 72 h from injury) on motor recovery and LOS. Depending on the distribution of data, we used different types of generalized linear models, including multiple linear regression, gamma regression, and negative binomial regression. Persons with incomplete AIS B, C, and D injuries from C2 to L2 demonstrated motor recovery improvement of an additional 6.3 motor points (SE=2.8 p<0.03) when they underwent surgical treatment within 24 h from the time of injury, compared with those who had surgery later than 24 h post-injury. This beneficial effect of early surgery on motor recovery was not seen in the patients with AIS A complete SCI. AIS A and B patients who received early surgery experienced shorter hospital LOS. While the issues of when to perform surgery and what specific operation to perform remain controversial, this work provides evidence that for an incomplete acute tSCI in the cervical, thoracic, or thoracolumbar spine, surgery performed within 24 h from injury improves motor neurological recovery. Early surgery also reduces LOS.

  9. Lentivirus-mediated inhibition of tumour necrosis factor-α improves motor function associated with PRDX6 in spinal cord contusion rats.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao; Shi, Lan-lan; Gao, Xia; Jiang, Di; Zhong, Zhan-qiong; Zeng, Xi; Rao, Ying; Hu, Xi; Li, Tian-zhi; Li, Xiu-juan; Li, Lei; Chen, Jian-min; Xia, Qingjie; Wang, Ting-hua

    2015-02-16

    The recovery of motor function in rats is inhibited following contusion spinal cord injury (cSCI). However, the mechanism of tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) in motor function after cSCI associated with peroxiredoxin 6 (PRDX6) remains unknown. We randomly divided rats into four groups: sham, cSCI, vector and lentivirus mediating TNF-α RNA interference (TNF-α-RNAi-LV) group. The Basso, Beattie, Bresnahan (BBB) scale was used to evaluate motor function. Real-time quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) and western blotting were used to detect the expression of TNF-α and PRDX6, which were located in neurons using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunofluorescence. Subsequently, lentiviral-mediated TNF-α was used to determine the role of TNF-αand the relationship of PRDX6 and TNF-α in cSCI. After cSCI, the motor capability of hind limbs disappeared and was followed by recovery of function. IHC analysis indicated that TNF-α and PRDX6 were primarily located in spinal cord neurons. TNF-α interference significantly improved neural behaviour and increased expression of PRDX6. Our study suggests that inhibition of TNF-α can promote the recovery of motor function. The underlying mechanism of TNF-α-promoted motor function may be connected with the up-regulation of PRDX6. This provides a new strategy or target for the clinical treatment of SCI in future.

  10. Reduced SMN protein in motor neuronal progenitors functions cell autonomously to cause spinal muscular atrophy in model mice expressing the human centromeric (SMN2) gene

    PubMed Central

    Park, Gyu-Hwan; Maeno-Hikichi, Yuka; Awano, Tomoyuki; Landmesser, Lynn T.; Monani, Umrao R.

    2010-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a common (~1:6400) autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder caused by a paucity of the Survival of Motor Neuron (SMN) protein. Although widely recognized to cause selective spinal motor neuron loss when deficient, the precise cellular site of action of the SMN protein in SMA remains unclear. In this study we sought to determine the consequences of selectively depleting SMN in the motor neurons of model mice. Depleting but not abolishing the protein in motor neuronal progenitors causes an SMA-like phenotype. Neuromuscular weakness in the model mice is accompanied by peripheral as well as central synaptic defects, electrophysiological abnormalities of the neuromuscular junctions, muscle atrophy and motor neuron degeneration. However, the disease phenotype is more modest than that observed in mice expressing ubiquitously low levels of the SMN protein and both symptoms as well as early electrophysiological abnormalities which are readily apparent in neonates, attenuated in an age dependent manner. We conclude that selective knock-down of SMN in motor neurons is sufficient but may not be necessary to cause a disease phenotype and that targeting these cells will be a requirement of any effective therapeutic strategy. This realization is tempered by the relatively mild SMA phenotype in our model mice, one explanation for which is the presence of normal SMN levels in non-neuronal tissue that serves to modulate disease severity. PMID:20826664

  11. Role of Direct vs. Indirect Pathways from the Motor Cortex to Spinal Motoneurons in the Control of Hand Dexterity

    PubMed Central

    Isa, Tadashi; Kinoshita, Masaharu; Nishimura, Yukio

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionally, development of the direct connection from the motor cortex to spinal motoneurons [corticomotoneuronal (CM) pathway] parallels the ability of hand dexterity. Damage to the corticofugal fibers in higher primates resulted in deficit of fractionated digit movements. Based on such observations, it was generally believed that the CM pathway plays a critical role in the control of hand dexterity. On the other hand, a number of “phylogenetically older” indirect pathways from the motor cortex to motoneurons still exist in primates. The indirect pathways are mediated by intercalated neurons such as segmental interneurons (sINs), propriospinal neurons (PNs) reticulospinal neurons (RSNs), or rubrospinal neurons (RuSNs). However, their contribution to hand dexterity remains elusive. Lesion of the brainstem pyramid sparing the transmission through the RuSNs and RSNs, resulted in permanent deficit of fractionated digit movements in macaque monkeys. On the other hand, in our recent study, after lesion of the dorsolateral funiculus (DLF) at the C5 segment, which removed the lateral corticospinal tract (l-CST) including the CM pathway and the transmission through sINs and RuSNs but spared the processing through the PNs and RSNs, fractionated digit movements recovered within several weeks. These results suggest that the PNs can be involved in the recovery of fractionated digit movements, but the RSNs and RuSNs have less capacity in this regard. However, on closer inspection, it was found that the activation pattern of hand and arm muscles considerably changed after the C5 lesion, suggesting limitation of PNs for the compensation of hand dexterity. Altogether, it is suggested that PNs, RSNs RuSNs, and the CM pathway (plus sINs) make a different contribution to the hand dexterity and appearance of motor deficit of the hand dexterity caused by damage to the corticofugal fibers and potential of recovery varies depending on the rostrocaudal level of the lesion. PMID

  12. Bog bilberry anthocyanin extract improves motor functional recovery by multifaceted effects in spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jun; Ma, Chuan; Rong, Wei; Jing, Hao; Hu, Xing; Liu, Xiaoguang; Jiang, Liang; Wei, Feng; Liu, Zhongjun

    2012-12-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the therapeutic efficiency of bog bilberry anthocyanin extract (BBAE) treatment starting 1 d after spinal cord injury (SCI) in rats and to investigate the underlying mechanism. The BBAE contained cyanidin-3-glucoside, malvidin-3-galactoside and malvidin-3-glucoside. SCI models were induced using the weight-drop method in Sprague-Dawley rats and additionally with sham group (laminectomy only). The animals were divided into four groups: vehicle-treated group; 10 mg/kg BBAE-treated group; 20 mg/kg BBAE-treated group; sham group. BBAE-treated or vehicle-treated group was administered orally at one day after SCI and then daily for 8 weeks. Locomotor functional recovery was assessed during the 8 weeks post operation period by performing a Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan (BBB) locomotor score test. At the end of study, the animals were killed, and 1.5 cm segments of spinal cord encompassing the injury site were removed for immunohistochemistry, histopathological and western blotting analysis. Immunohistochemistry for GFAP, aggrecan, neurocan and NeuN was used to assess the degree of astrocytic glial scar formation and neuron survival. Immunohistochemistry and western blotting analysis for TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β was used to evaluate the anti-inflammation effect of BBAE. To evaluate its inhibition effect on the astrocytes, we performed the MTT assay and immunohistochemistry for Ki67 in vitro. Results show that the BBAE-treated animals showed significantly better locomotor functional recovery, neuron death and smaller glial scar formation after spinal cord injury in vivo. In addition, BBAE administration could inhibit astrocyte proliferation in vivo and vitro. Therefore, BBAE may be useful as a promising therapeutic agent for SCI.

  13. Lognormal firing rate distribution reveals prominent fluctuation–driven regime in spinal motor networks

    PubMed Central

    Petersen, Peter C; Berg, Rune W

    2016-01-01

    When spinal circuits generate rhythmic movements it is important that the neuronal activity remains within stable bounds to avoid saturation and to preserve responsiveness. Here, we simultaneously record from hundreds of neurons in lumbar spinal circuits of turtles and establish the neuronal fraction that operates within either a ‘mean-driven’ or a ‘fluctuation–driven’ regime. Fluctuation-driven neurons have a ‘supralinear’ input-output curve, which enhances sensitivity, whereas the mean-driven regime reduces sensitivity. We find a rich diversity of firing rates across the neuronal population as reflected in a lognormal distribution and demonstrate that half of the neurons spend at least 50 % of the time in the ‘fluctuation–driven’ regime regardless of behavior. Because of the disparity in input–output properties for these two regimes, this fraction may reflect a fine trade–off between stability and sensitivity in order to maintain flexibility across behaviors. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18805.001 PMID:27782883

  14. Central and peripheral defects in motor units of the diaphragm of spinal muscular atrophy mice.

    PubMed

    Neve, Anuja; Trüb, Judith; Saxena, Smita; Schümperli, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is characterized by motoneuron loss and muscle weakness. However, the structural and functional deficits that lead to the impairment of the neuromuscular system remain poorly defined. By electron microscopy, we previously found that neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and muscle fibres of the diaphragm are among the earliest affected structures in the severe mouse SMA model. Because of certain anatomical features, i.e. its thinness and its innervation from the cervical segments of the spinal cord, the diaphragm is particularly suitable to characterize both central and peripheral events. Here we show by immunohistochemistry that, at postnatal day 3, the cervical motoneurons of SMA mice receive less stimulatory synaptic inputs. Moreover, their mitochondria become less elongated which might represent an early stage of degeneration. The NMJs of the diaphragm of SMA mice show a loss of synaptic vesicles and active zones. Moreover, the partly innervated endplates lack S100 positive perisynaptic Schwann cells (PSCs). We also demonstrate the feasibility of comparing the proteomic composition between diaphragm regions enriched and poor in NMJs. By this approach we have identified two proteins that are significantly upregulated only in the NMJ-specific regions of SMA mice. These are apoptosis inducing factor 1 (AIFM1), a mitochondrial flavoprotein that initiates apoptosis in a caspase-independent pathway, and four and a half Lim domain protein 1 (FHL1), a regulator of skeletal muscle mass that has been implicated in several myopathies. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. G-protein-coupled receptor 30-mediated antiapoptotic effect of estrogen on spinal motor neurons following injury and its underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jingyu; Hu, Rong; Ge, Hongfei; Duanmu, Wangsheng; Li, Yuhong; Xue, Xingseng; Hu, Shengli; Feng, Hua

    2015-08-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) may result in severe dysfunction of motor neurons. G-protein-coupled receptor 30 (GPR30) expression in the motor neurons of the ventral horn of the spinal cord mediates neuroprotection through estrogen signaling. The present study explored the antiapoptotic effect of estrogen, mediated by GPR30 following SCI, and the mechanisms underlying this effect. Spinal motor neurons from rats were cultured in vitro in order to establish cell models of oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD). The effects of estrogen, the estrogen agonist, G1, and the estrogen inhibitor, G15, on motor neurons were observed using MTT assays. The effects of E2, G1 and G15 on spinal motor neuron apoptosis following OGD, were detected using flow cytometry. The role of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt) inhibitor, LY294002, was also determined using flow cytometry. Rat SCI models were established. E2, G1 and E2+LY294002 were administered in vivo. Motor function was scored at 3, 7, 14, 21 and 28 d following injury, using Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan (BBB) standards. Cell activity in the estrogen and G1 groups was higher than that in the solvent group, whereas cell activity in the E2+G15 group was lower than that in the E2 group (P<0.05). Following OGD, the proportion of apoptotic cells significantly increased (P<0.05). The proportion in the estrogen group was significantly lower than that in the solvent group, whereas the proportion of apoptotic cells in the E2+G15 and E2+LY294002 groups was higher than that in the E2 group (P<0.05). Treatment with E2 and G1 led to upregulation of P-Akt expression in normal cells and post-OGD cells. The BBB scores of rats in the E2 and G1 groups were higher than those in the placebo group (P<0.05). The BBB scores of the E2+LY294002 group were lower than those of the E2 group (P<0.05). Estrogen thus appears to exert a protective effect on spinal motor neurons following OGD, via GPR30. The PI3K/Akt pathway may be one of those

  16. Robotically assisted treadmill exercise training for improving peak fitness in chronic motor incomplete spinal cord injury: A randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Scott, William; York, Henry; Theyagaraj, Melita; Price-Miller, Naomi; McQuaid, Jean; Eyvazzadeh, Megan; Ivey, Frederick M.; Macko, Richard F.

    2016-01-01

    Objective To assess the effectiveness of robotically assisted body weight supported treadmill training (RABWSTT) for improving cardiovascular fitness in chronic motor incomplete spinal cord injury (CMISCI). Design Pilot prospective randomized, controlled clinical trial. Setting Outpatient rehabilitation specialty hospital. Participants Eighteen individuals with CMISCI with American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) level between C4 and L2 and at least one-year post injury. Interventions CMISCI participants were randomized to RABWSTT or a home stretching program (HSP) three times per week for three months. Those in the home stretching group were crossed over to three months of RABWSTT following completion of the initial three month phase. Outcome measures Peak oxygen consumption (peak VO2) was measured during both robotic treadmill walking and arm cycle ergometry: twice at baseline, once at six weeks (mid-training) and twice at three months (post-training). Peak VO2 values were normalized for body mass. Results The RABWSTT group improved peak VO2 by 12.3% during robotic treadmill walking (20.2 ± 7.4 to 22.7 ± 7.5 ml/kg/min, P = 0.018), compared to a non-significant 3.9% within group change observed in HSP controls (P = 0.37). Neither group displayed a significant change in peak VO2 during arm cycle ergometry (RABWSTT, 8.5% (P = 0.25); HSP, 1.76% (P = 0.72)). A repeated measures analysis showed statistically significant differences between treatments for peak VO2 during both robotic treadmill walking (P = 0.002) and arm cycle ergometry (P = 0.001). Conclusion RABWSTT is an effective intervention model for improving peak fitness levels assessed during robotic treadmill walking in persons with CMISCI. PMID:25520035

  17. Quadri-Pulse Theta Burst Stimulation using Ultra-High Frequency Bursts - A New Protocol to Induce Changes in Cortico-Spinal Excitability in Human Motor Cortex.

    PubMed

    Jung, Nikolai H; Gleich, Bernhard; Gattinger, Norbert; Hoess, Catrina; Haug, Carolin; Siebner, Hartwig R; Mall, Volker

    2016-01-01

    Patterned transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) such as theta burst stimulation (TBS) or quadri-pulse stimulation (QPS) can induce changes in cortico-spinal excitability, commonly referred to as long-term potentiation (LTP)-like and long-term depression (LTD)-like effects in human motor cortex (M1). Here, we aimed to test the plasticity-inducing capabilities of a novel protocol that merged TBS and QPS. 360 bursts of quadri-pulse TBS (qTBS) were continuously given to M1 at 90% of active motor threshold (1440 full-sine pulses). In a first experiment, stimulation frequency of each burst was set to 666 Hz to mimic the rhythmicity of the descending cortico-spinal volleys that are elicited by TMS (i.e., I-wave periodicity). In a second experiment, burst frequency was set to 200 Hz to maximize postsynaptic Ca2+ influx using a temporal pattern unrelated to I-wave periodicity. The second phase of sinusoidal TMS pulses elicited either a posterior-anterior (PA) or anterior-posterior (AP) directed current in M1. Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were recorded before and after qTBS to probe changes in cortico-spinal excitability. PA-qTBS at 666 Hz caused a decrease in PA-MEP amplitudes, whereas AP-qTBS at 666 Hz induced an increase in mean AP-MEP amplitudes. At a burst frequency of 200 Hz, PA-qTBS and AP-qTBS produced an increase in cortico-spinal excitability outlasting for at least 60 minutes in PA- and AP-MEP amplitudes, respectively. Continuous qTBS at 666 Hz or 200 Hz can induce lasting changes in cortico-spinal excitability. Induced current direction in the brain appears to be relevant when qTBS targets I-wave periodicity, corroborating that high-fidelity spike timing mechanisms are critical for inducing bi-directional plasticity in human M1.

  18. A novel closed-body model of spinal cord injury caused by high-pressure air blasts produces extensive axonal injury and motor impairments

    PubMed Central

    del Mar, Nobel; von Buttlar, Xinyu; Yu, Angela S.; Guley, Natalie H.; Reiner, Anton; Honig, Marcia G.

    2015-01-01

    Diffuse axonal injury is thought to be the basis of the functional impairments stemming from mild traumatic brain injury. To examine how axons are damaged by traumatic events, such as motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports activities, or explosive blasts, we have taken advantage of the spinal cord with its extensive white matter tracts. We developed a closed-body model of spinal cord injury in mice whereby high-pressure air blasts targeted to lower thoracic vertebral levels produce tensile, compressive, and shear forces within the parenchyma of the spinal cord and thereby cause extensive axonal injury. Markers of cytoskeletal integrity showed that spinal cord axons exhibited three distinct pathologies: microtubule breakage, neurofilament compaction, and calpain-mediated spectrin breakdown. The dorsally situated axons of the corticospinal tract primarily exhibited microtubule breakage, whereas all three pathologies were common in the lateral and ventral white matter. Individual axons typically demonstrated only one of the three pathologies during the first 24 h after blast injury, suggesting that the different perturbations are initiated independently of one another. For the first few days after blast, neurofilament compaction was frequently accompanied by autophagy, and subsequent to that, by the fragmentation of degenerating axons. TuJ1 immunolabeling and mice with YFP-reporter labeling each revealed more extensive microtubule breakage than did βAPP immunolabeling, raising doubts about the sensitivity of this standard approach for assessing axonal injury. Although motor deficits were mild and largely transient, some aspects of motor function gradually worsened over several weeks, suggesting that a low level of axonal degeneration continued past the initial wave. Our model can help provide further insight into how to intervene in the processes by which initial axonal damage culminates in axonal degeneration, to improve outcomes after traumatic injury. Importantly

  19. 5-HT precursor loading, but not 5-HT receptor agonists, increases motor function after spinal cord contusion in adult rats.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Y; Jacob-Vadakot, S; Dugan, E A; McBride, S; Olexa, R; Simansky, K; Murray, M; Shumsky, J S

    2010-01-01

    Serotonergic (5-HT) receptors are upregulated following spinal cord transection. Stimulation by administration of serotonergic receptor agonists has been successful in improving hindlimb function. We tested whether this strategy would be successful in incomplete injury models (moderate or severe thoracic contusion) where descending projections are partially spared which should produce less denervation-induced receptor upregulation. Adult rats received midthoracic moderate (MOD: 25 mm drop) or severe (SEV: 50 mm drop) contusion injuries. Distribution of 5-HT and its transporter and expression of 5-HT(2C) receptors were evaluated in lumbar spinal cord and motor response to 5-HT receptor activation was assessed using open field locomotion (BBB) score, percent weight supported treadmill stepping (%WS) and evaluation of hindlimb muscle activation (tremor and serotonin syndrome). 5-HT immunostaining 3 months post-contusion revealed few 5-HT fibers caudal to the severe contusion, and more spared caudal to the moderate contusion. The distribution of 5-HT transporter paralleled 5-HT staining, but was more greatly reduced. Thus serotonin reuptake may be less efficient in the injured spinal cord. Immunostaining for the 5-HT(2C) receptor in the dorsal and ventral horns at L5 showed significant upregulation in SEV, compared to sham or MOD rats. Neither 5-HT(2C) nor 5-HT(1A) receptor agonists, alone or in combination, nor the serotonin transporter inhibitor d-fenfluramine modified BBB scores or %WS in either group. Despite the increased sensitivity of post-synaptic targets, agonist treatment did not improve function in SEV rats. We conclude that selective 5-HT(2C) or 5-HT(1A) receptor activation was not effective in improving hindlimb function after incomplete lesions. In contrast, the 5-HT precursor 5-hydroxytryptophan (L-5-HTP), which leads to activation of all classes of 5-HT receptors, increased both %WS and hindlimb activity in the MOD group. While no side effects were

  20. Enabling Task-Specific Volitional Motor Functions via Spinal Cord Neuromodulation in a Human With Paraplegia.

    PubMed

    Grahn, Peter J; Lavrov, Igor A; Sayenko, Dimitry G; Van Straaten, Meegan G; Gill, Megan L; Strommen, Jeffrey A; Calvert, Jonathan S; Drubach, Dina I; Beck, Lisa A; Linde, Margaux B; Thoreson, Andrew R; Lopez, Cesar; Mendez, Aldo A; Gad, Parag N; Gerasimenko, Yury P; Edgerton, V Reggie; Zhao, Kristin D; Lee, Kendall H

    2017-04-01

    We report a case of chronic traumatic paraplegia in which epidural electrical stimulation (EES) of the lumbosacral spinal cord enabled (1) volitional control of task-specific muscle activity, (2) volitional control of rhythmic muscle activity to produce steplike movements while side-lying, (3) independent standing, and (4) while in a vertical position with body weight partially supported, voluntary control of steplike movements and rhythmic muscle activity. This is the first time that the application of EES enabled all of these tasks in the same patient within the first 2 weeks (8 stimulation sessions total) of EES therapy. Copyright © 2017 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Novel concept of motor functional analysis for spinal cord injury in adult mice.

    PubMed

    Shinozaki, Munehisa; Takahashi, Yuichiro; Mukaino, Masahiko; Saito, Nobuhito; Toyama, Yoshiaki; Okano, Hideyuki; Nakamura, Masaya

    2011-01-01

    In basic research on spinal cord injury (SCI), behavioral evaluation of the SCI animal model is critical. However, it is difficult to accurately evaluate function in the mouse SCI model due to the small size of mice. Although the open-field scoring scale is an outstanding appraisal method, supplementary objective tests are required. Using a compact SCANET system, in which a mouse carries out free movement for 5 min, we developed a novel method to detect locomotor ability. A SCANET system samples the horizontal coordinates of a mouse every 0.1 s, and both the speed and acceleration of its motion are calculated at each moment. It was found that the maximum speed and acceleration of motion over 5 min varied by injury severity. Moreover, these values were significantly correlated with open-field scores. The maximum speed and acceleration of SCI model mice using a SCANET system are objective, easy to obtain, and reproducible for evaluating locomotive function.

  2. [Effect of fenibut on the GABA B receptors of the spinal motor neurons].

    PubMed

    Abramets, I I; Komissarov, I V

    1985-06-01

    It has been established in experiments on the isolated spinal cord of 7-14-day-old rats that the GABAB-mimetic phenibut (10(-5)--10(-4) M) elicits a slow-developing depolarization of motoneurons, suppression of spontaneous activity and polysynaptic reflex discharges of motoneurons, recorded from the ventral roots. Administered under the same conditions GABA produces de- and hyperpolarization of motoneurons. The depolarization of motoneurons elicited by phenibut and GABA is not reversed by picrotoxin in contradistinction to the GABA-induced hyperpolarization of motoneurons, being associated with a direct action of the GABA-mimetics on postsynaptic GABAB receptors of motoneurons. Diazepam (10(-9)--10(-6) M) potentiates the effects of phenibut supposedly via benzodiazepine receptors bound with GABAA receptors (an independent interaction).

  3. Feasibility of visual instrumented movement feedback therapy in individuals with motor incomplete spinal cord injury walking on a treadmill

    PubMed Central

    Schließmann, Daniel; Schuld, Christian; Schneiders, Matthias; Derlien, Steffen; Glöckner, Maria; Gladow, Till; Weidner, Norbert; Rupp, Rüdiger

    2014-01-01

    Background: Incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI) leads to motor and sensory deficits. Even in ambulatory persons with good motor function an impaired proprioception may result in an insecure gait. Limited internal afferent feedback (FB) can be compensated by provision of external FB by therapists or technical systems. Progress in computational power of motion analysis systems allows for implementation of instrumented real-time FB. The aim of this study was to test if individuals with iSCI can normalize their gait kinematics during FB and more importantly maintain an improvement after therapy. Methods: Individuals with chronic iSCI had to complete 6 days (1 day per week) of treadmill-based FB training with a 2 weeks pause after 3 days of training. Each day consists of an initial gait analysis followed by 2 blocks with FB/no-FB. During FB the deviation of the mean knee angle during swing from a speed matched reference (norm distance, ND) is visualized as a number. The task consists of lowering the ND, which was updated after every stride. Prior to the tests in patients the in-house developed FB implementation was tested in healthy subjects with an artificial movement task. Results: Four of five study participants benefited from FB in the short and medium term. Decrease of mean ND was highest during the first 3 sessions (from 3.93 ± 1.54 to 2.18 ± 1.04). After the pause mean ND stayed in the same range than before. In the last 3 sessions the mean ND decreased slower (2.40 ± 1.18 to 2.20 ± 0.90). Direct influences of FB ranged from 60 to 15% of reduction in mean ND compared to initial gait analysis and from 20 to 1% compared to no-FB sessions. Conclusions: Instrumented kinematic real-time FB may serve as an effective adjunct to established gait therapies in normalizing the gait pattern after incomplete spinal cord injury. Further studies with larger patient groups need to prove long term learning and the successful transfer of newly acquired skills to activities of

  4. Ketogenic Diet Improves Forelimb Motor Function after Spinal Cord Injury in Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Streijger, Femke; Plunet, Ward T.; Lee, Jae H. T.; Liu, Jie; Lam, Clarrie K.; Park, Soeyun; Hilton, Brett J.; Fransen, Bas L.; Matheson, Keely A. J.; Assinck, Peggy; Kwon, Brian K.; Tetzlaff, Wolfram

    2013-01-01

    High fat, low carbohydrate ketogenic diets (KD) are validated non-pharmacological treatments for some forms of drug-resistant epilepsy. Ketones reduce neuronal excitation and promote neuroprotection. Here, we investigated the efficacy of KD as a treatment for acute cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) in rats. Starting 4 hours following C5 hemi-contusion injury animals were fed either a standard carbohydrate based diet or a KD formulation with lipid to carbohydrate plus protein ratio of 3:1. The forelimb functional recovery was evaluated for 14 weeks, followed by quantitative histopathology. Post-injury 3:1 KD treatment resulted in increased usage and range of motion of the affected forepaw. Furthermore, KD improved pellet retrieval with recovery of wrist and digit movements. Importantly, after returning to a standard diet after 12 weeks of KD treatment, the improved forelimb function remained stable. Histologically, the spinal cords of KD treated animals displayed smaller lesion areas and more grey matter sparing. In addition, KD treatment increased the number of glucose transporter-1 positive blood vessels in the lesion penumbra and monocarboxylate transporter-1 (MCT1) expression. Pharmacological inhibition of MCTs with 4-CIN (α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate) prevented the KD-induced neuroprotection after SCI, In conclusion, post-injury KD effectively promotes functional recovery and is neuroprotective after cervical SCI. These beneficial effects require the function of monocarboxylate transporters responsible for ketone uptake and link the observed neuroprotection directly to the function of ketones, which are known to exert neuroprotection by multiple mechanisms. Our data suggest that current clinical nutritional guidelines, which include relatively high carbohydrate contents, should be revisited. PMID:24223849

  5. Intermittent fasting in mice does not improve hindlimb motor performance after spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Streijger, Femke; Plunet, Ward T; Plemel, Jason Ryan; Lam, Clarrie K; Liu, Jie; Tetzlaff, Wolfram

    2011-06-01

    Previously, we reported that every-other-day-fasting (EODF) in Sprague-Dawley rats initiated after cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) effectively promoted functional recovery, reduced lesion size, and enhanced sprouting of the corticospinal tract. More recently, we also showed improved behavioral recovery with EODF after a moderate thoracic contusion injury in rats. In order to make use of transgenic mouse models to study molecular mechanisms of EODF, we tested here whether this intermittent fasting regimen was also beneficial in mice after SCI. Starting after SCI, C57BL/6 mice were fed a standard rodent chow diet either with unrestricted access or feeding every other day. Over a 14-week post-injury period, we assessed hindlimb locomotor function with the Basso Mouse Scale (BMS) open-field test and horizontal ladder, and the spinal cords were evaluated histologically to measure white and grey matter sparing. EODF resulted in an overall caloric restriction of 20% compared to animals fed ad libitum (AL). The EODF-treated animals exhibited a ∼ 14% reduction in body weight compared to AL mice, and never recovered to their pre-operative body weight. In contrast to rats on an intermittent fasting regimen, mice exhibited no increase in blood ketone bodies by the end of the second, third, and fourth day of fasting. EODF had no beneficial effect on tissue sparing and failed to improve behavioral recovery of hindlimb function. Hence this observation stands in stark contrast to our earlier observations in Sprague-Dawley rats. This is likely due to the difference in the metabolic response to intermittent fasting as evidenced by different ketone levels during the first week of the EODF regimen.

  6. Repeated Baclofen treatment ameliorates motor dysfunction, suppresses reflex activity and decreases the expression of signaling proteins in reticular nuclei and lumbar motoneurons after spinal trauma in rats.

    PubMed

    Kucharíková, Andrea; Schreiberová, Andrea; Závodská, Monika; Gedrová, Štefánia; Hricová, Ľudmila; Pavel, Jaroslav; Gálik, Ján; Maršala, Martin; Lukáčová, Nadežda

    2014-03-01

    The interruption of supraspinal input to the spinal cord leads to motor dysfunction and the development of spasticity. Clinical studies have shown that Baclofen (a GABAB agonist), while effective in modulating spasticity is associated with side-effects and the development of tolerance. The aim of the present study was to assess if discontinued Baclofen treatment and its repeated application leads antispasticity effects, and whether such changes affect neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in the brainstem, nNOS and parvalbumin (PV) in lumbar α-motoneurons and glial fibrillary acidic protein in the ventral horn of the spinal cord. Adult male Wistar rats were exposed to Th9 spinal cord transection. Baclofen (30mg/b.w.) diluted in drinking water, was administered for 6 days, starting at week 1 after injury and then repeated till week 4 after injury. The behavior of the animals was tested (tail-flick test, BBB locomotor score) from 1 to 8 weeks. Our results clearly indicate the role of nitric oxide, produced by nNOS in the initiation and the maintenance of spasticity states 1, 6 and 8 weeks after spinal trauma. A considerable decrease of nNOS staining after Baclofen treatment correlates with improvement of motor dysfunction. The findings also show that parvalbumin and astrocytes participate in the regulation of ion concentrations in the sub-acute phase after the injury.

  7. Using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Evaluate the Motor Pathways After an Intraoperative Spinal Cord Injury and to Predict the Recovery of Intraoperative Transcranial Electrical Motor Evoked Potentials: A Case Report.

    PubMed

    Grover, Helen J; Thornton, Rachel; Lutchman, Lennel N; Blake, Julian C

    2016-06-01

    The authors report a case of unilateral loss of intraoperative transcranial electrical motor evoked potentials (TES MEP) associated with a spinal cord injury during scoliosis correction and the subsequent use of extraoperative transcranial magnetic stimulation to monitor the recovery of spinal cord function. The authors demonstrate the absence of TES MEPs and absent transcranial magnetic stimulation responses in the immediate postoperative period, and document the partial recovery of transcranial magnetic stimulation responses, which corresponded to partial recovery of TES MEPs. Intraoperative TES MEPs were enhanced using spatial facilitation technique, which enabled the patient to undergo further surgery to stabilize the spine and correct her scoliosis. This case report supports evidence of the use of extraoperative transcranial magnetic stimulation to predict the presence of intraoperative TES responses and demonstrates the usefulness of spatial facilitation to monitor TES MEPs in a patient with a preexisting spinal cord injury.

  8. Acupuncture Reduces Excitability of Spinal Motor Neurons in Patients with Spastic Muscle Overactivity and Chronic Disorder of Consciousness Following Traumatic Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto-Miyazaki, Jun; Asano, Yoshitaka; Ikegame, Yuka; Kawasaki, Tomohiro; Nomura, Yuichi; Shinoda, Jun

    2016-11-01

    Spastic hypertonia usually occurs in patients with chronic disorders of consciousness (DOC) following severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Spinal motor neuron excitability has been reported to increase in patients with brain damage. The aim of this study was to evaluate the immediate effects of acupuncture on spinal motor neuron excitability in patients with DOC following TBI by using evoked electromyography. Eleven male patients (mean age, 33 ± 14 years) with refractory muscle spasticity of the upper extremity accompanying chronic DOC following TBI and admitted to Chubu Medical Center for Prolonged Traumatic Brain Dysfunction were included. A crossover study design was used. Changes in variables in the acupuncture session were compared with those in the control session in the same patients. Acupuncture treatment was performed at GV 26, Ex-HN 3, bilateral LI 4, and ST 36 for 10 minutes. F-wave was recorded from the abductor pollicis brevis muscle. The main outcome measure was F/M amplitude ratio (F-wave amplitude/M-wave amplitude), calculated as an index for spinal motor neuron excitability. F-waves were recorded before treatment (baseline), 10 minutes after needle insertion (phase 1), and 10 minutes after needle removal (phase 2). The same procedure was followed in the control session without acupuncture on a separate day. F/M ratio was significantly reduced from baseline to phase 1 (p < 0.001) and phase 2 (p < 0.001) in the acupuncture session, whereas no significant changes were observed in the control session. Changes in F/M ratio from baseline to phase 1 and phase 2 were greater in the acupuncture session than the control session (p = 0.001 and <0.001, respectively). The excitability of the spinal motor neurons in patients with DOC following TBI was reduced after acupuncture treatment, suggesting that it is beneficial for reducing spastic muscle hypertonia in these patients.

  9. The effect of Bobath approach on the excitability of the spinal alpha motor neurones in stroke patients with muscle spasticity.

    PubMed

    Ansari, N N; Naghdi, S

    2007-01-01

    A clinical study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of the Bobath approach on the excitability of the spinal alpha motor neurones in patients with poststroke spasticity. Ten subjects ranging in age from 37 through 76 years (average 60 years) with ankle plantarflexor spasticity secondary to a stroke were recruited and completed the trial. They had physiotherapy according to Bobath concept for ten treatment sessions, three days per week. Two repeated measures, one before and another after treatment, were taken to quantify clinical efficacy. The effect of this type of therapy on the excitability of alpha motor neurones (aMN) was assessed by measuring the latency of the Hoffmann reflex (H-reflex) and the Hmax/Mmax ratio. The original Ashworth scale and ankle range of motion were also measured. The mean HmaxlMmax ratio on the affected side at baseline was high in the study patients. However, there were no statistically significant differences in the HmaxlMmax ratio or in the H-reflex latency between the baseline values and those recorded after therapy intervention. Before treatment, the HmaxlMmax ratio was significantly higher in the affected side than in the unaffected side. However, it was similar at both sides after treatment. Following treatment, the significant reduction in spasticity was clinically detected as measured with the original Ashworth scale. The ankle joint active and passive range of motion was significantly increased. In conclusion, Bobath therapy had a statistically significant effect on the excitability of the aMN in the affected side compared to the unaffected side in stroke patients with muscle spasticity.

  10. Neuropathological characterization of spinal motor neuron degeneration processes induced by acute and chronic excitotoxic stimulus in vivo.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-Jarquín, Uri Nimrod; Tapia, Ricardo

    2016-09-07

    Motor neuron (MN) diseases are characterized by progressive cell degeneration, and excitotoxicity has been postulated as a causal factor. Using two experimental procedures for inducing excitotoxic spinal MN degeneration in vivo, by acute and chronic overactivation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazoleacetic acid (AMPA) receptors, we characterized the time course of the neuropathological changes. Electron transmission microscopy showed that acute AMPA perfusion by microdialysis caused MN swelling 1.5h after surgery and lysis with membrane rupture as early as 3h; no cleaved caspase 3 was detected by immunochemistry. Chronic AMPA infusion by osmotic minipumps induced a slow degeneration process along 5days, characterized by progressive changes: endoplasmic reticulum swelling, vacuolization of cytoplasm, vacuole fusion and cell membrane rupture. Quantification of these ultrastructural alterations showed that the increase of vacuolated area was at the expense of the nuclear area. Caspase 3 cleavage was observed since the first day of AMPA infusion. We conclude that acute AMPA-induced excitotoxicity induces MN loss by necrosis, while the progress of degeneration induced by chronic infusion is slow, starting with an early apoptotic process followed by necrosis. In both the acute and chronic procedures a correlation could be established between the loss of MN by necrosis, but not by caspase 3-linked apoptosis, and severe motor deficits and hindlimb paralysis. Our findings are relevant for understanding the mechanisms of neuron death in degenerative diseases and thus for the design of pharmacological therapeutic strategies. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Highly Efficient Differentiation and Enrichment of Spinal Motor Neurons Derived from Human and Monkey Embryonic Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Wada, Tamaki; Honda, Makoto; Minami, Itsunari; Tooi, Norie; Amagai, Yuji; Nakatsuji, Norio; Aiba, Kazuhiro

    2009-01-01

    Background There are no cures or efficacious treatments for severe motor neuron diseases. It is extremely difficult to obtain naïve spinal motor neurons (sMNs) from human tissues for research due to both technical and ethical reasons. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are alternative sources. Several methods for MN differentiation have been reported. However, efficient production of naïve sMNs and culture cost were not taken into consideration in most of the methods. Methods/Principal Findings We aimed to establish protocols for efficient production and enrichment of sMNs derived from pluripotent stem cells. Nestin+ neural stem cell (NSC) clusters were induced by Noggin or a small molecule inhibitor of BMP signaling. After dissociation of NSC clusters, neurospheres were formed in a floating culture containing FGF2. The number of NSCs in neurospheres could be expanded more than 30-fold via several passages. More than 33% of HB9+ sMN progenitor cells were observed after differentiation of dissociated neurospheres by all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and a Shh agonist for another week on monolayer culture. HB9+ sMN progenitor cells were enriched by gradient centrifugation up to 80% purity. These HB9+ cells differentiated into electrophysiologically functional cells and formed synapses with myotubes during a few weeks after ATRA/SAG treatment. Conclusions and Significance The series of procedures we established here, namely neural induction, NSC expansion, sMN differentiation and sMN purification, can provide large quantities of naïve sMNs derived from human and monkey pluripotent stem cells. Using small molecule reagents, reduction of culture cost could be achieved. PMID:19701462

  12. Tissue-specific models of spinal muscular atrophy confirm a critical role of SMN in motor neurons from embryonic to adult stages.

    PubMed

    Laird, Angela S; Mackovski, Nikolce; Rinkwitz, Silke; Becker, Thomas S; Giacomotto, Jean

    2016-05-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disease linked to survival motor neuron (SMN) protein deficiency. While SMN protein is expressed ubiquitously, its deficiency triggers tissue-specific hallmarks, including motor neuron death and muscle atrophy, leading to impaired motor functions and premature death. Here, using stable miR-mediated knockdown technology in zebrafish, we developed the first vertebrate system allowing transgenic spatio-temporal control of the smn1 gene. Using this new model it is now possible to investigate normal and pathogenic SMN function(s) in specific cell types, independently or in synergy with other cell populations. We took advantage of this new system to first test the effect of motor neuron or muscle-specific smn1 silencing. Anti-smn1 miRNA expression in motor neurons, but not in muscles, reproduced SMA hallmarks, including abnormal motor neuron development, poor motor function and premature death. Interestingly, smn1 knockdown in motor neurons also induced severe late-onset phenotypes including scoliosis-like body deformities, weight loss, muscle atrophy and, seen for the first time in zebrafish, reduction in the number of motor neurons, indicating motor neuron degeneration. Taken together, we have developed a new transgenic system allowing spatio-temporal control of smn1 expression in zebrafish, and using this model, we have demonstrated that smn1 silencing in motor neurons alone is sufficient to reproduce SMA hallmarks in zebrafish. It is noteworthy that this research is going beyond SMA as this versatile gene-silencing transgenic system can be used to knockdown any genes of interest, filling the gap in the zebrafish genetic toolbox and opening new avenues to study gene functions in this organism. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Synaptic input changes to spinal cord motoneurons correlate with motor control impairments in a type 1 diabetes mellitus model.

    PubMed

    Benitez, Suzana Ulian; Carneiro, Everardo Magalhães; de Oliveira, Alexandre Leite Rodrigues

    2015-10-01

    Hyperglycemia is the main cause of diabetic complications, contributing to a widespread degeneration of the nervous system. Nevertheless, the main focus has been the sensory neurons because of neuropathic pain, while the impairments associated with the spinal cord and motor deficits, mostly of those initiated at early stages of the disease, have been poorly investigated. In this way, the present study used the nonobese diabetic mouse model to evaluate the microenvironment around motoneurons at ventral horn of the spinal cord, following prolonged hyperglycemia. Adult female mice were divided into two groups: spontaneously diabetic (n = 33) and nondiabetic (n = 26). Mice were considered hyperglycemic when blood glucose surpassed 400 mg/dL. Following 2 weeks from that stage, part of the animals was euthanized and the lumbar intumescences were obtained and processed for immunohistochemistry and transmission electron microscopy. For immunohistochemistry, the antibodies used for integrated density of pixels quantification were anti-synaptophysin, anti-GFAP, and anti-Iba1. The functional analysis was monitored with the walking track test (CatWalk system) during 4 weeks. The results revealed significant motor impairment in diabetic animals in comparison to the control group. Such loss of motor control correlated with a significant reduction in presynaptic terminals apposed to the motoneurons. Nevertheless, there were no significant changes in glial reaction in the spinal cord. Overall, the results herein revealed central nervous system changes at early stages of the disease that may in turn contribute to the motor deficit. Such changes open a new window of investigation in early stages of diabetes to better comprehend motor impairment as a long-term complication of the disease.

  14. Bone Marrow Stromal Cell Intraspinal Transplants Fail to Improve Motor Outcomes in a Severe Model of Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Brock, John H.; Graham, Lori; Staufenberg, Eileen; Collyer, Eileen; Koffler, Jacob

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) have been reported to exert potential neuroprotective properties in models of neurotrauma, although precise mechanisms underlying their benefits are poorly understood. Despite this lack of knowledge, several clinical trials have been initiated using these cells. To determine whether local mechanisms mediate BMSC neuroprotective actions, we grafted allogeneic BMSCs to sites of severe, compressive spinal cord injury (SCI) in Sprague-Dawley rats. Cells were administered 48 h after the original injury. Additional animals received allogeneic MSCs that were genetically modified to secrete brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to further determine whether a locally administered neurotrophic factor provides or extends neuroprotection. When assessed 2 months post-injury in a clinically relevant model of severe SCI, BMSC grafts with or without BDNF secretion failed to improve motor outcomes. Thus, allogeneic grafts of BMSCs do not appear to act through local mechanisms, and future clinical trials that acutely deliver BMSCs to actual sites of injury within days are unlikely to be beneficial. Additional studies should address whether systemic administration of BMSCs alter outcomes from neurotrauma. PMID:26414795

  15. [Sanger sequencing for the diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy patients with survival motor neuron gene 1 compound heterozygous mutation].

    PubMed

    Yang, L; Cao, Y Y; Qu, Y J; Bai, J L; Wang, H; Jin, Y W; Han, Y L; Song, F

    2017-02-14

    Objective: To detect the subtle variant of survival motor neuron gene 1(SMN1) by Sanger sequencing, and to assess the value of Sanger sequencing for the diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy(SMA) with compound heterozygous mutation of SMN1. Methods: Fifty-two patients suspected SMA were recruited by the Capital Institute of Pediatrics from Jan.2014 to June.2016. PCR was used for amplifying exon7 of SMN1 and SMN2 in 52 patients. Natural different base peaks on the sequencing chromatogram in the SMN1 and SMN2 within the amplified segments were identified with Sanger DNA sequencing to detect the homozygous deletion or heterozygous deletion of SMN1. Then we screened the SMN1 subtle variants in heterozygous deletion patients by genomic Sanger sequencing for the other SMN exons. At last, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification(MLPA) was carried out to confirm the results of SMN1 heterozygous deletion, and T-A cloning confirmed the subtle variants were located in SMN1. Results: Forty-seven of 52 cases were homozygous deletion of SMN1, while 5 cases were heterozygous deletion which were confirmed by MLPA.Then, by genomic and T-A cloning sequencing, five SMN1 subtle mutations were separately identified in 5 cases of heterozygous deletion. Conclusion: Sanger sequencing is an effective method for the clinical diagnosis of compound heterozygous mutation of SMN1, and is meaningful for improving genetic diagnosis rate of SMA.

  16. Substantially elevating the levels of αB-crystallin in spinal motor neurons of mutant SOD1 mice does not significantly delay paralysis or attenuate mutant protein aggregation.

    PubMed

    Xu, Guilian; Fromholt, Susan; Ayers, Jacob I; Brown, Hilda; Siemienski, Zoe; Crosby, Keith W; Mayer, Christopher A; Janus, Christopher; Borchelt, David R

    2015-05-01

    There has been great interest in enhancing endogenous protein maintenance pathways such as the heat-shock chaperone response, as it is postulated that enhancing clearance of misfolded proteins could have beneficial disease modifying effects in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other neurodegenerative disorders. In cultured cell models of mutant SOD1 aggregation, co-expression of αB-crystallin (αB-crys) has been shown to inhibit the formation of detergent-insoluble forms of mutant protein. Here, we describe the generation of a new line of transgenic mice that express αB-crys at > 6-fold the normal level in spinal cord, with robust increases in immunoreactivity throughout the spinal cord grey matter and, specifically, in spinal motor neurons. Surprisingly, spinal cords of mice expressing αB-crys alone contained 20% more motor neurons per section than littermate controls. Raising αB-crys by these levels in mice transgenic for either G93A or L126Z mutant SOD1 had no effect on the age at which paralysis developed. In the G93A mice, which showed the most robust degree of motor neuron loss, the number of these cells declined by the same proportion as in mice expressing the mutant SOD1 alone. In paralyzed bigenic mice, the levels of detergent-insoluble, misfolded, mutant SOD1 were similar to those of mice expressing mutant SOD1 alone. These findings indicate that raising the levels of αB-crys in spinal motor neurons by 6-fold does not produce the therapeutic effects predicted by cell culture models of mutant SOD1 aggregation. Enhancing the protein chaperone function may present a therapeutic approach to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis caused by mutations in SOD1, and other neurodegenerative disorders characterized by cytosolic protein aggregation. Previous studies in cell models suggested that the chaperone known as αB-crystallin (αB-crys) can prevent mutant SOD1 aggregation. We report that transgenic expression of αB-crys at > 6-fold the normal level in spinal

  17. Amelioration of motor/sensory dysfunction and spasticity in a rat model of acute lumbar spinal cord injury by human neural stem cell transplantation

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Intraspinal grafting of human neural stem cells represents a promising approach to promote recovery of function after spinal trauma. Such a treatment may serve to: I) provide trophic support to improve survival of host neurons; II) improve the structural integrity of the spinal parenchyma by reducing syringomyelia and scarring in trauma-injured regions; and III) provide neuronal populations to potentially form relays with host axons, segmental interneurons, and/or α-motoneurons. Here we characterized the effect of intraspinal grafting of clinical grade human fetal spinal cord-derived neural stem cells (HSSC) on the recovery of neurological function in a rat model of acute lumbar (L3) compression injury. Methods Three-month-old female Sprague–Dawley rats received L3 spinal compression injury. Three days post-injury, animals were randomized and received intraspinal injections of either HSSC, media-only, or no injections. All animals were immunosuppressed with tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and methylprednisolone acetate from the day of cell grafting and survived for eight weeks. Motor and sensory dysfunction were periodically assessed using open field locomotion scoring, thermal/tactile pain/escape thresholds and myogenic motor evoked potentials. The presence of spasticity was measured by gastrocnemius muscle resistance and electromyography response during computer-controlled ankle rotation. At the end-point, gait (CatWalk), ladder climbing, and single frame analyses were also assessed. Syrinx size, spinal cord dimensions, and extent of scarring were measured by magnetic resonance imaging. Differentiation and integration of grafted cells in the host tissue were validated with immunofluorescence staining using human-specific antibodies. Results Intraspinal grafting of HSSC led to a progressive and significant improvement in lower extremity paw placement, amelioration of spasticity, and normalization in thermal and tactile pain/escape thresholds at

  18. Trophic and proliferative effects of Shh on motor neurons in embryonic spinal cord culture from wildtype and G93A SOD1 mice

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The developmental morphogen sonic hedgehog (Shh) may continue to play a trophic role in the support of terminally-differentiated motor neurons, of potential relevance to motor neuron disease. In addition, it may support the proliferation and differentiation of endogenous stem cells along motor neuronal lineages. As such, we have examined the trophic and proliferative effects of Shh supplementation or Shh antagonism in embryonic spinal cord cell cultures derived from wildtype or G93A SOD1 mice, a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Results Shh supported survival, and stimulated growth of motor neurons, neurite outgrowth, and neurosphere formation in primary culture derived from both G93A SOD1 and WT mice. Shh increased the percentage of ciliated motor neurons, especially in G93A SOD1 culture. Shh-treated cultures showed increased neuronal proliferation compared to controls and especially cyclopamine treated cultures, from G93A SOD1 and WT mice. Moreover, Shh enhanced cell survival and differentiation of motor neuron precursors in WT culture. Conclusions Shh is neurotrophic to motor neurons and has mitogenic effects in WT and mSOD1 G93A culture in vitro. PMID:24119209

  19. Effectiveness of intense, activity-based physical therapy for individuals with spinal cord injury in promoting motor and sensory recovery: Is olfactory mucosa autograft a factor?

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Cathy A.; Dension, Paula M.

    2013-01-01

    Background/objectives Rehabilitation for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) is expanding to include intense, activity-based, out-patient physical therapy (PT). The study's primary purposes were to (i) examine the effectiveness of intense PT in promoting motor and sensory recovery in individuals with SCI and (ii) compare recovery for individuals who had an olfactory mucosa autograft (OMA) with individuals who did not have the OMA while both groups participated in the intense PT program. Methods Prospective, non-randomized, non-blinded, intervention study. Using the American Spinal Injury Association examination, motor and sensory scores for 23 (7 OMA, 6 matched control and 10 other) participants were recorded. Results Mean therapy dosage was 137.3 total hours. The participants’ total, upper and lower extremity motor scores improved significantly while sensory scores did not improve during the first 60 days and from initial to discharge examination. Incomplete SCI or paraplegia was associated with greater motor recovery. Five of 14 participants converted from motor-complete to motor-incomplete SCI. Individuals who had the OMA and participated in intense PT did not have greater sensory or greater magnitude or rate of motor recovery as compared with participants who had intense PT alone. Conclusion This study provides encouraging evidence as to the effectiveness of intense PT for individuals with SCI. Future research is needed to identify the optimal therapy dosage and specific therapeutic activities required to generate clinically meaningful recovery for individuals with SCI including those who elect to undergo a neural recovery/regenerative surgical procedure and those that elect intense therapy alone. PMID:23433335

  20. Contractile dysfunction in muscle may underlie androgen-dependent motor dysfunction in spinal bulbar muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Oki, Kentaro; Halievski, Katherine; Vicente, Laura; Xu, Youfen; Zeolla, Donald; Poort, Jessica; Katsuno, Masahisa; Adachi, Hiroaki; Sobue, Gen; Wiseman, Robert W.; Breedlove, S. Marc

    2015-01-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is characterized by progressive muscle weakness linked to a polyglutamine expansion in the androgen receptor (AR). Current evidence indicates that mutant AR causes SBMA by acting in muscle to perturb its function. However, information about how muscle function is impaired is scant. One fundamental question is whether the intrinsic strength of muscles, an attribute of muscle independent of its mass, is affected. In the current study, we assess the contractile properties of hindlimb muscles in vitro from chronically diseased males of three different SBMA mouse models: a transgenic (Tg) model that broadly expresses a full-length human AR with 97 CAGs (97Q), a knock-in (KI) model that expresses a humanized AR containing a CAG expansion in the first exon, and a Tg myogenic model that overexpresses wild-type AR only in skeletal muscle fibers. We found that hindlimb muscles in the two Tg models (97Q and myogenic) showed marked losses in their intrinsic strength and resistance to fatigue, but were minimally affected in KI males. However, diseased muscles of all three models showed symptoms consistent with myotonic dystrophy type 1, namely, reduced resting membrane potential and deficits in chloride channel mRNA. These data indicate that muscle dysfunction is a core feature of SBMA caused by at least some of the same pathogenic mechanisms as myotonic dystrophy. Thus mechanisms controlling muscle function per se independent of mass are prime targets for SBMA therapeutics. PMID:25663674

  1. Contractile dysfunction in muscle may underlie androgen-dependent motor dysfunction in spinal bulbar muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Oki, Kentaro; Halievski, Katherine; Vicente, Laura; Xu, Youfen; Zeolla, Donald; Poort, Jessica; Katsuno, Masahisa; Adachi, Hiroaki; Sobue, Gen; Wiseman, Robert W; Breedlove, S Marc; Jordan, Cynthia L

    2015-04-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is characterized by progressive muscle weakness linked to a polyglutamine expansion in the androgen receptor (AR). Current evidence indicates that mutant AR causes SBMA by acting in muscle to perturb its function. However, information about how muscle function is impaired is scant. One fundamental question is whether the intrinsic strength of muscles, an attribute of muscle independent of its mass, is affected. In the current study, we assess the contractile properties of hindlimb muscles in vitro from chronically diseased males of three different SBMA mouse models: a transgenic (Tg) model that broadly expresses a full-length human AR with 97 CAGs (97Q), a knock-in (KI) model that expresses a humanized AR containing a CAG expansion in the first exon, and a Tg myogenic model that overexpresses wild-type AR only in skeletal muscle fibers. We found that hindlimb muscles in the two Tg models (97Q and myogenic) showed marked losses in their intrinsic strength and resistance to fatigue, but were minimally affected in KI males. However, diseased muscles of all three models showed symptoms consistent with myotonic dystrophy type 1, namely, reduced resting membrane potential and deficits in chloride channel mRNA. These data indicate that muscle dysfunction is a core feature of SBMA caused by at least some of the same pathogenic mechanisms as myotonic dystrophy. Thus mechanisms controlling muscle function per se independent of mass are prime targets for SBMA therapeutics.

  2. The relationship between lesion severity characterized by diffusion tensor imaging and motor function in chronic canine spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Melissa; Yap, Pew-Thian; McCullough, Susan; Olby, Natasha

    2017-10-03

    Lesion heterogeneity amongst chronically paralyzed dogs after acute, complete thoracolumbar spinal cord injury (TLSCI) is poorly described. We hypothesized that lesion severity quantified by Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) is associated with hind limb motor function. Our objectives were to quantify lesion severity with fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD) and tractography and investigate associations with motor function. Twenty-two dogs with complete TLSCI in the chronic stage were enrolled and compared to 6 control dogs. All underwent thoracolumbar MRI with DTI and gait analysis. FA and MD were calculated on regions of interest (ROI) at the lesion epicenter and cranial and caudal to the visible lesion on conventional MRI and in corresponding ROI in controls. Tractography was performed to detect trans-lesional fibers. Gait was quantified using an ordinal scale (OFS). FA and MD were compared between cases and controls, and relationships between FA, MD, presence of trans-lesional fibers and OFS were investigated. FA at the epicenter (median:0.228, 0.107-0.320), cranial (median:0.420, 0.391-0.561), and caudal to the lesion (median:0.369, 0.265-0.513) were lower than combined ROI in controls (median:0.602, 0.342-0.826, p<0.0001). MD at the epicenter (median:2.06x10-3,1.33-2.96x10-3) and cranially (median:1.52x10-3,1.03-1.87x10-3) were higher than combined ROI in controls (median:1.28x10-3, 0.81-1.44x10-3, p≤0.001). Four dogs had no trans-lesional fibers. Median OFS was 2 (0-6). FA at the lesion epicenter and presence of trans-lesional fibers were associated with OFS (p≤0.0299). DTI can detect degeneration and physical transection after severe TLSCI. Findings suggest DTI quantifies injury severity and suggests motor recovery in apparently complete dogs is due to supraspinal input.

  3. Xenotransplantation of embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons into the developing chick spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Wichterle, Hynek; Peljto, Mirza; Nedelec, Stephane

    2009-01-01

    A growing number of specific cell types have been successfully derived from embryonic stem cells (ES cells), including a variety of neural cells. In vitro generated cells need to be extensively characterized to establish functional equivalency with their in vivo counterparts. The ultimate test for the ability of ES cell-derived neurons to functionally integrate into neural networks is transplantation into the developing central nervous system, a challenging technique limited by the poor accessibility of mammalian embryos. Here we describe xenotransplantation of mouse embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons into the developing chick neural tube as an alternative for testing the ability of in vitro generated neurons to survive, integrate, extend axons, and form appropriate synaptic contacts with functionally relevant targets in vivo. Similar methods can be adapted to study functionality of other mammalian cells, including derivatives of human ES cells.

  4. Repetitive common peroneal nerve stimulation increases ankle dorsiflexor motor evoked potentials in incomplete spinal cord lesions.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Aiko K; Lapallo, Brandon; Duffield, Michael; Abel, Briana M; Pomerantz, Ferne

    2011-04-01

    Plasticity of corticospinal tract (CST) activity likely plays a key role in motor function recovery after central nervous system (CNS) lesions. In non-injured adults, 30 min of repetitive common peroneal nerve stimulation (rCPnS) increases CST excitability by 40-50% and the effect persists for at least 30 min. The present study evaluated with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) the changes in CST excitability after 30 min of rCPnS in people with foot drop due to incomplete SCI. Suprathreshold rCPnS (25 Hz, alternating 1 s on 1 s off stimulation cycle) was given for two 15-min periods, while the subject sat at rest with ankle and knee joints fixed. Before, between, and after the periods of stimulation, the tibialis anterior (TA) motor evoked potentials (MEPs) to TMS were measured at a TMS intensity that originally produced a half-maximum MEP (typically 10-20% above threshold) while the sitting subject provided 25-30% maximum voluntary TA contraction. In 10 subjects with SCI, the peak-to-peak TA MEP increased by 14 ± 3% after rCPnS and the peak increase (+21 ± 7%) occurred 15 min after the cessation of rCPnS. The TA H-reflex, measured in separate experiments in 7 subjects, did not increase after rCPnS. The results indicate that rCPnS can increase CST excitability for the TA in people with incomplete SCI, although its effects appear smaller and shorter lasting than those found in non-injured control subjects. Such short-term plasticity in the CST excitability induced by rCPnS may contribute to long-term therapeutic effects of functional electrical stimulation previously reported in people with CNS lesions.

  5. Elucidation of target muscle and detailed development of dorsal motor neurons in chick embryo spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Nobumi; Homma, Shunsaku; Okada, Tomoaki; Masuda, Tomoyuki; Sato, Noboru; Nishiyama, Keiji; Sakuma, Chie; Shimada, Takako; Yaginuma, Hiroyuki

    2013-09-01

    The avian cervical spinal cord includes motoneurons (MNs) that send their axons through the dorsal roots. They have been called dorsal motoneurons (dMNs) and assumed to correspond to MNs of the accessory nerve that innervate the cucullaris muscle (SAN-MNs). However, their target muscles have not been elucidated to date. The present study sought to determine the targets and the specific combination of transcription factors expressed by dMNs and SAN-MNs and to describe the detailed development of dMNs. Experiments with tracing techniques confirmed that axons of dMNs innervated the cucullaris muscle. Retrogradely labeled dMNs were distributed in the ventral horn of C3 and more caudal segments. In most cases, some dMNs were also observed in the C2 segment. It was also demonstrated that SAN-MNs existed in the ventral horn of the C1-2 segments and the adjacent caudal hindbrain. Both SAN-MNs and dMNs expressed Isl1 but did not express Isl2, MNR2, or Lhx3. Rather, these MNs expressed Phox2b, a marker for branchial motoneurons (brMNs), although the intensity of expression was weaker. Dorsal MNs and SAN-MNs were derived from the Nkx2.2-positive precursor domain and migrated dorsally. Dorsal MNs remain in the ventral domain of the neural tube, unlike brMNs in the brainstem. These results indicate that dMNs and SAN-MNs belong to a common MN population innervating the cucullaris muscle and also suggest that they are similar to brMNs of the brainstem, although there are differences in Phox2b expression and in the final location of each population. J. Comp. Neurol. 521: 2987-3002, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Weather, geography, and vehicle-related hyperthermia in children.

    PubMed

    Grundstein, Andrew; Null, Jan; Meentemeyer, Vernon

    2011-01-01

    Vehicle-related hyperthermia is an unfortunate tragedy that leads to the accidental deaths of children each year. This research utilizes the most extensive dataset of child vehicle-related hyperthermia deaths in the United States, including 414 deaths between 1998 and 2008. Deaths follow a seasonal pattern, with a peak in July and no deaths in December or January. Also, deaths occurred over a wide range of temperature and radiation levels and across virtually all regions, although most of them took place across the southern United States. In particular, the Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, and Las Vegas metropolitan areas had the greatest number of deaths. We utilize our vehicle hyperthermia index (vhi) to compare expected deaths versus actual deaths in a metropolitan area, based on the number of children in the area who are under the age of five and on the frequency of hot days in the area. The vhi indicates that the Memphis, West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, and Las Vegas metropolitan areas are the most dangerous places for vehicle-related hyperthermia. We conclude by discussing several recommendations with public health policy implications.

  7. Enhanced neuroprotection and improved motor function in traumatized rat spinal cords by rAAV2-mediated glial-derived neurotrophic factor combined with early rehabilitation training.

    PubMed

    Han, Qingquan; Xiang, Jingjing; Zhang, Yun; Qiao, Hujun; Shen, Yongwei; Zhang, Chun

    2014-01-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a serious neurological injury that often leads to permanent disabilities for the victims. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) mediated by recombinant adeno-associated virus type 2 (rAAV2) alone or in combination with early rehabilitation training on SCI. SCI was induced on the T8-9 segments of the spinal cord by laminectomy in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Then besides the sham operation group, the SCI rats were randomly divided into four groups: natural healing group, gene therapy group, rehabilitation training group, and combination therapy group (gene therapy in combination with rehabilitation training). Motor dysfunction, protein expression of GDNF, edema formation, and cell injury were examined 7, 14, and 21 days after trauma. The topical application of rAAV-GDNF-GFP resulted in strong expression of GDNF, especially after the 14th day, and could protect the motor neuron cells. Early rehabilitative treatment resulted in significantly improved motor function, reduced edema formation, and protected the cells from injury, especially after the 7th and 14th days, and increased the GDNF expression in the damaged area, which was most evident after Day 14. The combined application of GDNF and early rehabilitative treatment after SCI resulted in a significant reduction in spinal cord pathology and motor dysfunction after the 7th and 14th days. These observations suggest that rAAV2 gene therapy in combination with rehabilitation therapy has potential clinical value for the treatment of SCI.

  8. Motor cortex electrical stimulation promotes axon outgrowth to brain stem and spinal targets that control the forelimb impaired by unilateral corticospinal injury.

    PubMed

    Carmel, Jason B; Kimura, Hiroki; Berrol, Lauren J; Martin, John H

    2013-04-01

    We previously showed that electrical stimulation of motor cortex (M1) after unilateral pyramidotomy in the rat increased corticospinal tract (CST) axon length, strengthened spinal connections, and restored forelimb function. Here, we tested: (i) if M1 stimulation only increases spinal axon length or if it also promotes connections to brain stem forelimb control centers, especially magnocellular red nucleus; and (ii) if stimulation-induced increase in axon length depends on whether pyramidotomy denervated the structure. After unilateral pyramidotomy, we electrically stimulated the forelimb area of intact M1, to activate the intact CST and other corticofugal pathways, for 10 days. We anterogradely labeled stimulated M1 and measured axon length using stereology. Stimulation increased axon length in both the spinal cord and magnocellular red nucleus, even though the spinal cord is denervated by pyramidotomy and the red nucleus is not. Stimulation also promoted outgrowth in the cuneate and parvocellular red nuclei. In the spinal cord, electrical stimulation caused increased axon length ipsilateral, but not contralateral, to stimulation. Thus, stimulation promoted outgrowth preferentially to the sparsely corticospinal-innervated and impaired side. Outgrowth resulted in greater axon density in the ipsilateral dorsal horn and intermediate zone, resembling the contralateral termination pattern. Importantly, as in spinal cord, increase in axon length in brain stem also was preferentially directed towards areas less densely innervated by the stimulated system. Thus, M1 electrical stimulation promotes increases in corticofugal axon length to multiple M1 targets. We propose the axon length change was driven by competition into an adaptive pattern resembling lost conn