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J Neurotrauma. 2011 Jun;28(6):1051-61. doi: 10.1089/neu.2010.1715.

Intermittent fasting in mice does not improve hindlimb motor performance after spinal cord injury.

Author information

1
International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), Blusson Spinal Cord Center, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Abstract

Previously, we reported that every-other-day-fasting (EODF) in Sprague-Dawley rats initiated after cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) effectively promoted functional recovery, reduced lesion size, and enhanced sprouting of the corticospinal tract. More recently, we also showed improved behavioral recovery with EODF after a moderate thoracic contusion injury in rats. In order to make use of transgenic mouse models to study molecular mechanisms of EODF, we tested here whether this intermittent fasting regimen was also beneficial in mice after SCI. Starting after SCI, C57BL/6 mice were fed a standard rodent chow diet either with unrestricted access or feeding every other day. Over a 14-week post-injury period, we assessed hindlimb locomotor function with the Basso Mouse Scale (BMS) open-field test and horizontal ladder, and the spinal cords were evaluated histologically to measure white and grey matter sparing. EODF resulted in an overall caloric restriction of 20% compared to animals fed ad libitum (AL). The EODF-treated animals exhibited a ∼ 14% reduction in body weight compared to AL mice, and never recovered to their pre-operative body weight. In contrast to rats on an intermittent fasting regimen, mice exhibited no increase in blood ketone bodies by the end of the second, third, and fourth day of fasting. EODF had no beneficial effect on tissue sparing and failed to improve behavioral recovery of hindlimb function. Hence this observation stands in stark contrast to our earlier observations in Sprague-Dawley rats. This is likely due to the difference in the metabolic response to intermittent fasting as evidenced by different ketone levels during the first week of the EODF regimen.

PMID:
21410319
DOI:
10.1089/neu.2010.1715
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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