RECOVERY OF FUNCTION AFTER SPINAL CORD DAMAGE

Summary

Principal Investigator: M Murray
Affiliation: Drexel University
Country: USA
Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant) This Program Project focuses on strategies for repair of spinal cord injury, assessment of function and development of methods to improve outcome after spinal injury. During the previous funding period we developed cellular and molecular modifications of grafting strategies that will rescue injured neurons and promote regeneration and that are associated with recovery of function. We have also exploited pharmacological interventions that can further enhance function. In addition, we have developed functional analyses of deficits and recovery that provide methods to identify the mechanisms underlying the function that recovers. We build on these findings in the present application with an emphasis on physiological analysis for better assessment of recovery. In one Project we will use fibroblasts modified to express neurotrophic factors to stimulate regeneration of supraspinal axons after acute and chronic spinal hemisections and transections in adult rats. In another Project we will explore the use of genetically modified neural stem cells, a grafting strategy that offers the possibility of replacement of lost neurons, to promote spinal repair, regeneration in adult rats. One Project will continue to identify pharmacological interventions that can act synergistically with the grafts to improve function in animals operated as neonates and as adults. Two Projects are concerned with biomechanical and physiological assessment of function. The goal in one Project is to identify critical interactions between motor cortex and spinal cord that are required for recovery after transections in neonates and adults and to determine whether fetal grafts or grafting strategies developed in two Projects and pharmacological strategies developed in another Project will modify cortical and spinal organization. One Project investigates functional changes in sensorimotor cortex and red nucleus after spinal injury, and after application of transplantation strategies developed in two Projects and pharmacological strategies developed in another Project. Animals in all projects are evaluated in the Behavior Core using a standard set of behavioral measures. This allows direct comparison of functional outcome of grafting strategies. Overall, this Program Project emphasizes the integration of new experimental strategies that promote rescue and regeneration with detailed functional analysis comprised of behavioral, pharmacological, and physiological tests that assess recovery, suggest mechanisms and may ultimately provide neuroprosthetic alternatives.
Funding Period: 1987-04-01 - 2008-06-30
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. ncbi Structure of the excitatory receptive fields of infragranular forelimb neurons in the rat primary somatosensory cortex responding to touch
    Banu Tutunculer
    School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
    Cereb Cortex 16:791-810. 2006
  2. pmc Beta- and gamma-frequency coupling between olfactory and motor brain regions prior to skilled, olfactory-driven reaching
    Raymond Hermer-Vazquez
    Behavioral Neuroscience Program, Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
    Exp Brain Res 180:217-35. 2007
  3. ncbi Towards a method to study neurorobotic control in a rat model of spinal cord injury
    Robert D Flint
    School of Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Health Systems, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA
    Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc . 2006
  4. pmc Computational role of large receptive fields in the primary somatosensory cortex
    Guglielmo Foffani
    School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA
    J Neurophysiol 100:268-80. 2008
  5. doi Responses of infragranular neurons in the rat primary somatosensory cortex to forepaw and hindpaw tactile stimuli
    K A Moxon
    School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
    Neuroscience 156:1083-92. 2008
  6. pmc Exercise induces cortical plasticity after neonatal spinal cord injury in the rat
    Tina Kao
    Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19129, USA
    J Neurosci 29:7549-57. 2009

Scientific Experts

  • K A Moxon
  • Robert D Flint
  • Guglielmo Foffani
  • Tina Kao
  • John K Chapin
  • Raymond Hermer-Vazquez
  • Banu Tutunculer
  • Marion Murray
  • Jed S Shumsky
  • Sridhar Srinivasan
  • Linda Hermer-Vazquez
  • B Timothy Himes

Detail Information

Publications6

  1. ncbi Structure of the excitatory receptive fields of infragranular forelimb neurons in the rat primary somatosensory cortex responding to touch
    Banu Tutunculer
    School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
    Cereb Cortex 16:791-810. 2006
    ..This highly distributed receptive field structure provides the electrophysiological architecture for studying organization and plasticity of cortical somatosensory processing...
  2. pmc Beta- and gamma-frequency coupling between olfactory and motor brain regions prior to skilled, olfactory-driven reaching
    Raymond Hermer-Vazquez
    Behavioral Neuroscience Program, Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
    Exp Brain Res 180:217-35. 2007
    ..These results indicate that transient, multispectral coherence across cortical and subcortical brain sites is part of the coordination process prior to sensory-guided movement initiation...
  3. ncbi Towards a method to study neurorobotic control in a rat model of spinal cord injury
    Robert D Flint
    School of Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Health Systems, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA
    Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc . 2006
    ..The method provides a means by which changes in neural activation can be correlated with changes in behavior...
  4. pmc Computational role of large receptive fields in the primary somatosensory cortex
    Guglielmo Foffani
    School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA
    J Neurophysiol 100:268-80. 2008
    ....
  5. doi Responses of infragranular neurons in the rat primary somatosensory cortex to forepaw and hindpaw tactile stimuli
    K A Moxon
    School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
    Neuroscience 156:1083-92. 2008
    ....
  6. pmc Exercise induces cortical plasticity after neonatal spinal cord injury in the rat
    Tina Kao
    Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19129, USA
    J Neurosci 29:7549-57. 2009
    ..Therefore, the increase in responsiveness of hindlimb SI to forelimb stimulation after neonatal transection and exercise may be due, in part, to the effect of exercise on the forelimb SI...