Transplantation of porous tubes following spinal cord transection improves hindlimb function in the rat.
LE3 .A278 2005
Bachelor of Kinesiology
Spinal cord injuries are very serious medical problems that require acute and chronic treatment. The primary effects of a spinal cord injury are the loss of motor and sensory function. The varying degrees of spinal cord injury are due to the amount of cellular damage and the level of the injury. The amount of spared tissue, scar tissue, and neuronal growth all affect the recovery process and secondary effects. Skeletal muscle experiences a number of effects following a spinal cord injury such as atrophy, and changes in metabolic properties. The different changes in the skeletal muscles have profound effects on the recovery and quality of life of spinal cord injured individuals. Briefly, the muscle fibres experience a shift to a faster more fatigable fibre type. The muscle enzymatic characteristics become less oxidative and more glycolytic due to the alterations in mitochondrial number and function. The effects of the spinal cord injury on skeletal muscle are probably due to a decrease in mechanical load and neuromuscular activity. Several interventions are being studied to reverse the effects of spinal cord injury on skeletal muscle. In the present study, a porous tube transplant was placed in the spinal cord at the site of injury for 28 days following a complete spinal cord transection in a rat model of spinal cord injury. Daily measurements of body weight were performed. Locomotor function was assessed weekly. Following 4 weeks of intervention, relative muscle weight and oxidative enzyme activity was studied in hindlimb skeletal muscles. The relevant findings of this study are that porous tubes can increase locomotor function, and decrease the amount of cellular damage following a complete spinal cord transection. Also, cytochrome C oxidase activity in the plantaris can be maintained with the use of a porous tube following a spinal cord transection. The application of porous tubes in the spinal cord injury population would be using it as a rehabilitation tool; for increasing locomotor function, and decreasing the negative effects experienced by the affected muscles.
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