Neuromuscular interaction is required for neurotrophins-mediated locomotor recovery following treadmill training in rat spinal cord injury

PeerJ. 2016;4:e2025 DOI 10.7717/peerj.2025

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: PeerJ

ISSN: 2167-8359 (Online)

Publisher: PeerJ Inc.

LCC Subject Category: Medicine

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML

 

AUTHORS


Qinfeng Wu (Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China)

Yana Cao (Jiangsu Province Hospital of TCM, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China)

Chuanming Dong (Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu, China)

Hongxing Wang (Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China)

Qinghua Wang (Laboratory Animal Center, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu, China)

Weifeng Tong (Research Center for Neurobiological, Xuzhou Medical Collage, Xuzhou, Jiangsu, China)

Xiangzhe Li (Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China)

Chunlei Shan (School of Rehabilitation Science, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China)

Tong Wang (Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China)

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 10 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text | Full Text

Recent results have shown that exercise training promotes the recovery of injured rat distal spinal cords, but are still unclear about the function of skeletal muscle in this process. Herein, rats with incomplete thoracic (T10) spinal cord injuries (SCI) with a dual spinal lesion model were subjected to four weeks of treadmill training and then were treated with complete spinal transection at T8. We found that treadmill training allowed the retention of hind limb motor function after incomplete SCI, even with a heavy load after complete spinal transection. Moreover, treadmill training alleviated the secondary injury in distal lumbar spinal motor neurons, and enhanced BDNF/TrkB expression in the lumbar spinal cord. To discover the influence of skeletal muscle contractile activity on motor function and gene expression, we adopted botulinum toxin A (BTX-A) to block the neuromuscular activity of the rat gastrocnemius muscle. BTX-A treatment inhibited the effects of treadmill training on motor function and BDNF/TrKB expression. These results indicated that treadmill training through the skeletal muscle-motor nerve-spinal cord retrograde pathway regulated neuralplasticity in the mammalian central nervous system, which induced the expression of related neurotrophins and promoted motor function recovery.