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J Vis Exp. 2016 Mar 27;(109):e53498. doi: 10.3791/53498.

A Neonatal Mouse Spinal Cord Compression Injury Model.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, Oslo University Hospital; Norwegian Center for Stem Cell Research, Oslo University Hospital.
2
Norwegian Center for Stem Cell Research, Oslo University Hospital; Laboratory of Neural Development and Optical Recording (NDEVOR), Department of Physiology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo.
3
Norwegian Center for Stem Cell Research, Oslo University Hospital; Laboratory of Neural Development and Optical Recording (NDEVOR), Department of Physiology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo; jeanlb@medisin.uio.no.

Abstract

Spinal cord injury (SCI) typically causes devastating neurological deficits, particularly through damage to fibers descending from the brain to the spinal cord. A major current area of research is focused on the mechanisms of adaptive plasticity that underlie spontaneous or induced functional recovery following SCI. Spontaneous functional recovery is reported to be greater early in life, raising interesting questions about how adaptive plasticity changes as the spinal cord develops. To facilitate investigation of this dynamic, we have developed a SCI model in the neonatal mouse. The model has relevance for pediatric SCI, which is too little studied. Because neural plasticity in the adult involves some of the same mechanisms as neural plasticity in early life(1), this model may potentially have some relevance also for adult SCI. Here we describe the entire procedure for generating a reproducible spinal cord compression (SCC) injury in the neonatal mouse as early as postnatal (P) day 1. SCC is achieved by performing a laminectomy at a given spinal level (here described at thoracic levels 9-11) and then using a modified Yasargil aneurysm mini-clip to rapidly compress and decompress the spinal cord. As previously described, the injured neonatal mice can be tested for behavioral deficits or sacrificed for ex vivo physiological analysis of synaptic connectivity using electrophysiological and high-throughput optical recording techniques(1). Earlier and ongoing studies using behavioral and physiological assessment have demonstrated a dramatic, acute impairment of hindlimb motility followed by a complete functional recovery within 2 weeks, and the first evidence of changes in functional circuitry at the level of identified descending synaptic connections(1).

PMID:
27078037
PMCID:
PMC4841318
DOI:
10.3791/53498
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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