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  • Examination of the combined effects of chondroitinase ABC, growth factors and locomotor training following compressive spinal cord injury on neuroanatomical plasticity and kinematics.

Examination of the combined effects of chondroitinase ABC, growth factors and locomotor training following compressive spinal cord injury on neuroanatomical plasticity and kinematics.

PloS one (2014-10-29)
Olivier Alluin, Hugo Delivet-Mongrain, Marie-Krystel Gauthier, Michael G Fehlings, Serge Rossignol, Soheila Karimi-Abdolrezaee
ABSTRACT

While several cellular and pharmacological treatments have been evaluated following spinal cord injury (SCI) in animal models, it is increasingly recognized that approaches to address the glial scar, including the use of chondroitinase ABC (ChABC), can facilitate neuroanatomical plasticity. Moreover, increasing evidence suggests that combinatorial strategies are key to unlocking the plasticity that is enabled by ChABC. Given this, we evaluated the anatomical and functional consequences of ChABC in a combinatorial approach that also included growth factor (EGF, FGF2 and PDGF-AA) treatments and daily treadmill training on the recovery of hindlimb locomotion in rats with mid thoracic clip compression SCI. Using quantitative neuroanatomical and kinematic assessments, we demonstrate that the combined therapy significantly enhanced the neuroanatomical plasticity of major descending spinal tracts such as corticospinal and serotonergic-spinal pathways. Additionally, the pharmacological treatment attenuated chronic astrogliosis and inflammation at and adjacent to the lesion with the modest synergistic effects of treadmill training. We also observed a trend for earlier recovery of locomotion accompanied by an improvement of the overall angular excursions in rats treated with ChABC and growth factors in the first 4 weeks after SCI. At the end of the 7-week recovery period, rats from all groups exhibited an impressive spontaneous recovery of the kinematic parameters during locomotion on treadmill. However, although the combinatorial treatment led to clear chronic neuroanatomical plasticity, these structural changes did not translate to an additional long-term improvement of locomotor parameters studied including hindlimb-forelimb coupling. These findings demonstrate the beneficial effects of combined ChABC, growth factors and locomotor training on the plasticity of the injured spinal cord and the potential to induce earlier neurobehavioral recovery. However, additional approaches such as stem cell therapies or a more adapted treadmill training protocol may be required to optimize this repair strategy in order to induce sustained functional locomotor improvement.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
o-Xylene, anhydrous, 97%
Sigma-Aldrich
o-Xylene, puriss. p.a., ≥99.0% (GC)
Sigma-Aldrich
o-Xylene, reagent grade, ≥98.0%
Supelco
o-Xylene, analytical standard
Supelco
o-Xylene, suitable for HPLC, 98%
Supelco
o-Xylene, Pharmaceutical Secondary Standard; Certified Reference Material