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Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2015 Jan;29(1):90-100. doi: 10.1177/1545968314532834. Epub 2014 May 6.

Either brain-derived neurotrophic factor or neurotrophin-3 only neurotrophin-producing grafts promote locomotor recovery in untrained spinalized cats.

Author information

1
PPD France SAS, Ivry sur Seine, France.
2
Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
3
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA mlemay@temple.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Transplants of cellular grafts expressing a combination of 2 neurotrophic factors, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) have been shown to promote and enhance locomotor recovery in untrained spinalized cats. Based on the time course of recovery and the absence of axonal growth through the transplants, we hypothesized that recovery was due to neurotrophin-mediated plasticity within the existing locomotor circuitry of the lumbar cord. Since BDNF and NT-3 have different effects on axonal sprouting and synaptic connectivity/strengthening, it becomes important to ascertain the contribution of each individual neurotrophins to recovery.

OBJECTIVE:

We studied whether BDNF or NT-3 only producing cellular grafts would be equally effective at restoring locomotion in untrained spinal cats.

METHODS:

Rat fibroblasts secreting one of the 2 neurotrophins were grafted into the T12 spinal transection site of adult cats. Four cats in each group (BDNF alone or NT-3 alone) were evaluated. Locomotor recovery was tested on a treadmill at 3 and 5 weeks post-transection/grafting.

RESULTS:

Animals in both groups were capable of plantar weight-bearing stepping at speed up to 0.8 m/s as early as 3 weeks and locomotor capabilities were similar at 3 and 5 weeks for both types of graft.

CONCLUSIONS:

Even without locomotor training, either BDNF or NT-3 only producing grafts promote locomotor recovery in complete spinal animals. More clinically applicable delivery methods need to be developed.

KEYWORDS:

kinematics; locomotion; neurotrophin; plasticity; spinal cord injury

PMID:
24803493
PMCID:
PMC4223019
DOI:
10.1177/1545968314532834
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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