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Spinal Cord. 2007 Jul;45(7):496-501. Epub 2007 Jan 9.

Observation of locomotor functional recovery in adult complete spinal rats with BWSTT using semiquantitative and qualitative methods.

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  • 1Department of Rehabilitation, Capital Medical University, China Rehabilitation Research Center, Boai Hospital, Beijing, China.



Experimental rat model of spinal cord transection .


China rehabilitation research center.


To investigate locomotor functional recovery in spinal rats with BWSTT using semiquantitative and qualitative methods.


Five-day postoperative (dpo), adult female complete spinal rats (at T(8) level) received 40 days of body weight-supported treadmill training (BWSTT). Signs of functional recovery were examined with average combined scores (ACOS) and Basso Beattie and Bresnahan (BBB) scales at different time points.


At 1-dpo, none of the spinal rats exhibited hindlimb movements. The spinal rats displayed functional progress with time, but the rare could recover to full weight-bearing hindlimb at 45-dpo. BBB and ACOS scores in the BWSTT group obtained better scores than those in the spinal cord injury (SCI) group at 30- and 45-dpo. Furthermore, all BBB and ACOS scores of spinal rats reached statistical significance between 7- and 30-dpo, and between 15- and 30-dpo. However, only ACOS but not BBB scores in the SCI and BWSTT groups showed statistics differences between 15- and 45-dpo, and between 30- and 45-dpo. The Spearman correlation coefficients of BBB and ACOS scores were 0.913 and 0.972 for the SCI and BWSTT groups, respectively.


The results confirmed the existence of partial spontaneous hindlimb functional recovery in adult chronically spinal cord-transected rats, and that BWSTT can improve motor performance. In addition, our study suggests that qualitative and semiquantiative methods are strongly correlated with locomotor recovery in spinal rats, and the latter may be more sensitive in reflecting minor variance at different time points.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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