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Rehabilitative training following unilateral pyramidotomy in adult rats improves forelimb function in a non-task-specific way


Starkey, M; Bleul, C; Maier, I; Schwab, M E (2011). Rehabilitative training following unilateral pyramidotomy in adult rats improves forelimb function in a non-task-specific way. Experimental Neurology, 232(1):81-89.

Abstract

Spontaneous functional recovery following injury to the adult central nervous system can be enhanced with increased and focused activity, either through altered behaviour (skill learning, exercise or training) or by artificial stimulation (magnetic or electrical). In terms of training, the choice of paradigm plays a key role in the recovered behaviour. Here we show that task-specific training leads to improved forelimb function that can be translated to a novel forelimb task. Adult Long–Evans rats received a unilateral pyramidotomy and we studied the effects of different post-lesion training paradigms for their ability to recover function in the impaired limb. We trained rats on either the single pellet grasping or the horizontal ladder task. Rats were tested on both tasks regardless of the training paradigm and also on a related, but novel forelimb task, the Staircase. Horizontal ladder training led to full recovery of this task, and also limited recovery on the familiar but untrained single pellet grasping task. In comparison, single pellet grasping training led to a smaller improvement on the horizontal ladder, but interestingly the same degree of recovery on the single pellet grasping task as horizontal ladder trained animals. Both training groups performed equally well on a novel, untrained forelimb grasping task. These results show that task-specific forelimb training can lead to functional recovery also in non-trained, complex, forelimb movements. Anatomically, only single pellet grasping training was associated with enhanced sprouting of the intact corticospinal tract across the cervical spinal cord midline to innervate the denervated side of the spinal cord.

Spontaneous functional recovery following injury to the adult central nervous system can be enhanced with increased and focused activity, either through altered behaviour (skill learning, exercise or training) or by artificial stimulation (magnetic or electrical). In terms of training, the choice of paradigm plays a key role in the recovered behaviour. Here we show that task-specific training leads to improved forelimb function that can be translated to a novel forelimb task. Adult Long–Evans rats received a unilateral pyramidotomy and we studied the effects of different post-lesion training paradigms for their ability to recover function in the impaired limb. We trained rats on either the single pellet grasping or the horizontal ladder task. Rats were tested on both tasks regardless of the training paradigm and also on a related, but novel forelimb task, the Staircase. Horizontal ladder training led to full recovery of this task, and also limited recovery on the familiar but untrained single pellet grasping task. In comparison, single pellet grasping training led to a smaller improvement on the horizontal ladder, but interestingly the same degree of recovery on the single pellet grasping task as horizontal ladder trained animals. Both training groups performed equally well on a novel, untrained forelimb grasping task. These results show that task-specific forelimb training can lead to functional recovery also in non-trained, complex, forelimb movements. Anatomically, only single pellet grasping training was associated with enhanced sprouting of the intact corticospinal tract across the cervical spinal cord midline to innervate the denervated side of the spinal cord.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Brain Research Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords: Spontaneous functional recovery; Activity; Task-specific training; Training; Forelimb function; Adult rats; Unilateral pyramidotomy; Corticospinal tract; CST; Single pellet grasping; Horizontal ladder; Staircase; Anatomical sprouting across the midline; BDA
Language:English
Date:16 August 2011
Deposited On:11 Jan 2012 13:35
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:17
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0014-4886
Funders:Swiss National Science Foundation (grant 3100AO-122527/1), National Centre for Competence in Research “Neural Plasticity & Repair” of the Swiss National Science Foundation, The European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreements no 201024 and no 202213
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2011.08.006
PubMed ID:21867701
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-53592

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