Motor unit number estimation may be a useful method to evaluate motor function recovery after spinal cord transection in rats

G. X. Xiong, Y. Guan, Y. Hong, J. W. Zhang, H. Guan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Study design:Experimental rat study.Objective:To investigate changes in motor unit number estimation (MUNE) value of the medial gastrocnemius (MG) muscle after thoracic spinal cord transection in rats and to correlate the MUNE with hindlimb motor function recovery.Setting:China Rehabilitation Research Center, Beijing, China.Methods:Twelve rats were subjected to spinal cord transection or sham surgery and then evaluated by MUNE and the Basso, Beattie and Bresnahan (BBB) behavioral scale 56 days after the surgery.Results:The MUNE values of the MG muscle were significantly decreased from baseline at 14-49 days after surgery. However, they returned to near pre-injury levels after 56 days. Rats recovered progressively from the severely impaired hindlimb motor function induced by spinal cord injury, as indicated by a gradual increase in BBB score during days 3-49 after surgery. However, this behavioral recovery was only partial and reached a plateau on day 49. Finally, there was a U-shape-like correlation between changes in MUNE values and BBB scores after thoracic spinal cord transection.Conclusions:Time-dependent changes in the functional motor unit number may occur in spinal segments caudal to the transection level, and MUNE could be a useful method to evaluate motor function recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-366
Number of pages4
JournalSpinal Cord
Volume48
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010

Keywords

  • MUNE
  • Motor function recovery
  • Quantitative evaluation
  • Rat
  • Transection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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