Adenoviral gene transfer into the normal and injured spinal cord: enhanced transgene stability by combined administration of temperature-sensitive virus and transient immune blockade. (1/4276)

This study characterized gene transfer into both normal and injured adult rat dorsal spinal cord using first (E1-/E3-) or second (E1-/E2A125/E3-, temperature-sensitive; ts) generation of replication-defective adenoviral (Ad) vectors. A novel immunosuppressive regimen aimed at blocking CD4/CD45 lymphocytic receptors was tested for improving transgene persistence. In addition, the effect of gene transfer on nociception was also evaluated. Seven days after treatment, numerous LacZ-positive cells were observed after transfection with either viral vector. By 21 days after transfection, beta-galactosidase staining was reduced and suggestive of ongoing cytopathology in both Ad-treated groups, despite the fact that the immunogenicity of LacZ/Adts appeared less when compared with that elicited by the LacZ/Ad vector. In contrast, immunosuppressed animals showed a significant (P < or = 0.05) increase in the number of LacZ-positive cells not displaying cytopathology. In these animals, a concomitant reduction in numbers of macrophages/microglia and CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes was observed. Only animals that received LacZ/Adts and immunosuppression showed transgene expression after 60 days. Similar results were observed in animals in which the L4-L5 dorsal roots were lesioned before transfection. Gene transfer into the dorsal spinal cord did not affect nociception, independent of the adenovirus vector. These results indicate that immune blockade of the CD4/CD45 lymphocytic receptors enhanced transgene stability in adult animals with normal or injured spinal cords and that persistent transgene expression in the spinal cord does not interfere with normal neural function.  (+info)

Complete compensation in skilled reaching success with associated impairments in limb synergies, after dorsal column lesion in the rat. (2/4276)

Each of the dorsal columns of the rat spinal cord conveys primary sensory information, by way of the medullary dorsal column nucleus, to the ventrobasal thalamus on the contralateral side; thus the dorsal columns are an important source of neural input to the sensorimotor cortex. Damage to the dorsal columns causes impairments in synergistic proximal or whole-body movements in cats and distal limb impairments in primates, particularly in multiarticulated finger movements and tactile foviation while handling objects, but the behavioral effects of afferent fiber lesions in the dorsal columns of rodents have not been described. Female Long-Evans rats were trained to reach with a forelimb for food pellets and subsequently received lesions of the dorsomedial spinal cord at the C2 level, ipsilateral to their preferred limb. Reaching success completely recovered within a few days of dorsal column lesion. Nevertheless, a detailed analysis of high-speed video recordings revealed that rotatory limb movements (aiming, pronation, supination, etc.) were irreversibly impaired. Compensation was achieved with whole-body and alternate limb movements. These results indicate the following: (1) in the absence of the dorsal columns, other sensorimotor pathways support endpoint success in reaching; (2) sensory input conveyed by the dorsal columns is important for both proximal and distal limb movements used for skilled reaching; and (3) detailed behavioral analyses in addition to endpoint measures are necessary to completely describe the effects of dorsal column lesions.  (+info)

Effects of spinal cord injury on spermatogenesis and the expression of messenger ribonucleic acid for Sertoli cell proteins in rat Sertoli cell-enriched testes. (3/4276)

The study was an examination of the effects of spinal cord injury (SCI) on spermatogenesis and Sertoli cell functions in adult rats with Sertoli cell-enriched (SCE) testes. The effects of SCI on the seminiferous epithelium were characterized by abnormalities in the remaining spermatogenic cells during the first month after SCI. Three days after SCI, serum testosterone levels were 80% lower, while serum FSH and LH levels were 25% and 50% higher, respectively, than those of sham control SCE rats. At this time, the levels of mRNA for androgen receptor (AR), FSH receptor (FSH-R), and androgen-binding protein (ABP) were normal whereas those for transferrin (Trf) had decreased by 40%. Thereafter, serum testosterone levels increased, but they remained lower than those of the sham control rats 28 days after SCI; and serum FSH and LH levels returned to normal. The levels of mRNA for AR, ABP, and Trf exhibited a biphasic increase 7 days after SCI and remained elevated 28 days after SCI. FSH-R mRNA levels were also elevated 90 days after SCI. Unexpectedly, active spermatogenesis, including qualitatively complete spermatogenesis, persisted in > 40% of the tubules 90 days after SCI. These results suggest that the stem cells and/or undifferentiated spermatogonia in SCE testes are less susceptible to the deleterious effects of SCI than the normal testes and that they were able to proliferate and differentiate after SCI. The presence of elevated levels of mRNA for Sertoli cell FSH-R and AR, as well as of that for the Sertoli cell proteins, in the SCE testes during the chronic stage of SCI suggests a modification of Sertoli cell physiology. Such changes in Sertoli cell functions may provide a beneficial environment for the proliferation of the stem cells and differentiation of postmeiotic cells, thus resulting in the persistence of spermatogenesis in these testes.  (+info)

Disabling injuries of the cervical spine in Argentine rugby over the last 20 years. (4/4276)

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the incidence and risk factors of disabling injuries to the cervical spine in rugby in Argentina. METHODS: A retrospective review of all cases reported to the Medical Committee of the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) and Rugby Amistad Foundation was carried out including a follow up by phone. Cumulative binomial distribution, chi 2 test, Fisher test, and comparison of proportions were used to analyse relative incidence and risk of injury by position and by phase of play (Epi Info 6, Version 6.04a). RESULTS: Eighteen cases of disabling injury to the cervical spine were recorded from 1977 to 1997 (0.9 cases per year). The forwards (14 cases) were more prone to disabling injury of the cervical spine than the backs (four cases) (p = 0.03). Hookers (9/18) were at highest risk of injury (p < 0.01). The most frequent cervical injuries occurred at the 4th, 5th, and 6th vertebrae. Seventeen of the injuries occurred during match play. Set scrums were responsible for most of the injuries (11/18) but this was not statistically significant (p = 0.44). The mean age of the injured players was 22. Tetraplegia was initially found in all cases. Physical rehabilitation has been limited to the proximal muscles of the upper limbs, except for two cases of complete recovery. One death, on the seventh day after injury, was reported. CONCLUSIONS: The forwards suffered a higher number of injuries than the backs and this difference was statistically significant. The chance of injury for hookers was statistically higher than for the rest of the players and it was particularly linked to scrummaging. However, the number of injuries incurred in scrums was not statistically different from the number incurred in other phases of play.  (+info)

Energy cost of propulsion in standard and ultralight wheelchairs in people with spinal cord injuries. (5/4276)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Wheelchair- and subject-related factors influence the efficiency of wheelchair propulsion. The purpose of this study was to compare wheelchair propulsion in ultralight and standard wheelchairs in people with different levels of spinal cord injury. SUBJECTS: Seventy-four subjects (mean age=26.2 years, SD=7.14, range=17-50) with spinal cord injury resulting in motor loss (30 with tetraplegia and 44 with paraplegia) were studied. METHOD: Each subject propelled standard and ultralight wheelchairs around an outdoor track at self-selected speeds, while data were collected at 4 predetermined intervals. Speed, distance traveled, and oxygen cost (VO2 mL/kg/m) were compared by wheelchair, group, and over time, using a Bonferroni correction. RESULTS: In the ultralight wheelchair, speed and distance traveled were greater for both subjects with paraplegia and subjects with tetraplegia, whereas VO2 was less only for subjects with paraplegia. Subjects with paraplegia propelled faster and farther than did subjects with tetraplegia. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION: The ultralight wheelchair improved the efficiency of propulsion in the tested subjects. Subjects with tetraplegia, especially at the C6 level, are limited in their ability to propel a wheelchair.  (+info)

Heart rate during exercise with leg vascular occlusion in spinal cord-injured humans. (6/4276)

Feed-forward and feedback mechanisms are both important for control of the heart rate response to muscular exercise, but their origin and relative importance remain inadequately understood. To evaluate whether humoral mechanisms are of importance, the heart rate response to electrically induced cycling was studied in participants with spinal cord injury (SCI) and compared with that elicited during volitional cycling in able-bodied persons (C). During voluntary exercise at an oxygen uptake of approximately 1 l/min, heart rate increased from 66 +/- 4 to 86 +/- 4 (SE) beats/min in seven C, and during electrically induced exercise at a similar oxygen uptake in SCI it increased from 73 +/- 3 to 110 +/- 8 beats/min. In contrast, blood pressure increased only in C (from 88 +/- 3 to 99 +/- 4 mmHg), confirming that, during exercise, blood pressure control is dominated by peripheral neural feedback mechanisms. With vascular occlusion of the legs, the exercise-induced increase in heart rate was reduced or even eliminated in the electrically stimulated SCI. For C, heart rate tended to be lower than during exercise with free circulation to the legs. Release of the cuff elevated heart rate only in SCI. These data suggest that humoral feedback is of importance for the heart rate response to exercise and especially so when influence from the central nervous system and peripheral neural feedback from the working muscles are impaired or eliminated during electrically induced exercise in individuals with SCI.  (+info)

M2 receptors in genito-urinary smooth muscle pathology. (7/4276)

In vitro bladder contractions in response to cumulative carbachol doses were measured in the presence of selective muscarinic antagonists from rats which had their major pelvic ganglion bilaterally removed (denervation, DEN) or from rats in which the spinal cord was injured (SCI) via compression. DEN induced both hypertrophy (505+/-51 mg bladder weight) and a supersensitivity of the bladders to carbachol (EC50=0.7+/-0.1 uM). Some of the SCI rats regained the ability to void spontaneously (SPV). The bladders of these animals weighed 184+/-17 mg, significantly less than the bladders of non voiding rats (NV, 644+/-92 mg). The potency of carbachol was greater in bladder strips from NV SCI animals (EC50=0.54+/-0.1 uM) than either bladder strips from SPV SCI (EC50=0.93+/-0.3 microM), DEN or control (EC50=1.2+/-0.1 microM) animals. Antagonist affinities in control bladders for antagonism of carbachol induced contractions were consistent with M3 mediated contractions. Antagonist affinities in DEN bladders for 4-diphenlacetoxy-N-methylpiperidine methiodide (4-DAMP, 8.5) and para fluoro hexahydrosilodifenidol (p-F-HHSiD, 6.6); were consistent with M2 mediated contractions, although the methoctramine affinity (6.5) was consistent with M3 mediated contractions. p-F-HHSiD inhibited carbachol induced contraction with an affinity consistent with M2 receptors in bladders from NV SCI (pKb=6.4) animals and M3 receptors in bladders from SPV SCI animals (pKb=7.9). Subtype selective immunoprecipitation of muscarinic receptors revealed an increase in total and an increase in M2 receptor density with no change in M3 receptor density in bladders from DEN and NV SCI animals compared to normal or sham operated controls. M3 receptor density was lower in bladders from SPV SCI animals while the M2 receptor density was not different from control. This increase in M2 receptor density is consistent with the change in affinity of the antagonists for inhibition of carbachol induced contractions and may indicate that M2 receptors or a combination of M2 and M3 receptors directly mediate smooth muscle contraction in bladders from DEN and NV SCI rats.  (+info)

Primary afferent fibers that contribute to increased substance P receptor internalization in the spinal cord after injury. (8/4276)

Upon noxious stimulation, substance P (SP) is released from primary afferent fibers into the spinal cord where it interacts with the SP receptor (SPR). The SPR is located throughout the dorsal horn and undergoes endocytosis after agonist binding, which provides a spatial image of SPR-containing neurons that undergo agonist interaction. Under normal conditions, SPR internalization occurs only in SPR+ cell bodies and dendrites in the superficial dorsal horn after noxious stimulation. After nerve transection and inflammation, SPR immunoreactivity increases, and both noxious as well as nonnoxious stimulation produces SPR internalization in the superficial and deep dorsal horn. We investigated the primary afferent fibers that contribute to enhanced SPR internalization in the spinal cord after nerve transection and inflammation. Internalization evoked by electrical stimulation of the sciatic nerve was examined in untreated animals, at 14 days after sciatic nerve transection or sham surgery and at 3 days after hindpaw inflammation. Electrical stimulation was delivered at intensities to excite Abeta fibers only, Abeta and Adelta fibers or A and C fibers as determined by the compound action potential recorded from the tibial nerve. Electrical stimuli were delivered at a constant rate of 10 Hz for a duration of 5 min. Transection of the sciatic nerve and inflammation produced a 33.7 and 32.5% increase in SPR and immunoreactivity in lamina I, respectively. Under normal conditions, stimulation of Adelta or C fibers evoked internalization that was confined to the superficial dorsal horn. After transection or inflammation, there was a 20-24% increase in the proportion of SPR+ lamina I neurons that exhibited internalization evoked by stimulation of Adelta fibers. The proportion of lamina I SPR+ neurons that exhibited internalization after stimulation of C-fibers was not altered by transection or inflammation because this was nearly maximal under normal conditions. Moreover, electrical stimulation sufficient to excite C fibers evoked SPR internalization in 22% of SPR+ lamina III neurons after nerve transection and in 32-36% of SPR+ neurons in lamina III and IV after inflammation. Stimulation of Abeta fibers alone never evoked internalization in the superficial or deep dorsal horn. These results indicate that activation of small-caliber afferent fibers contributes to the enhanced SPR internalization in the spinal cord after nerve transection and inflammation and suggest that recruitment of neurons that possess the SPR contributes to hyperalgesia.  (+info)