Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rat Makes A Partial Recovery Following A Spinal Cord Lesion

Date:
February 21, 2002
Source:
Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research
Summary:
Scientists at the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research have developed an experimental therapy which enables rats with a spinal cord lesion to partially recover from their paralysis. Up until now not even the slightest degree of recovery was possible.

Scientists at the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research have developed an experimental therapy which enables rats with a spinal cord lesion to partially recover from their paralysis. Up until now not even the slightest degree of recovery was possible. PhD student Bas Blits was part of this team.

The method uses a combination of transplantation and gene therapy. For the transplantation, the researchers implanted nerve cells cultured in vitro. The cells originated from the nerves between the ribs where they could be missed. Following the transplantation gene therapy has to further stimulate the growth and recovery of the damaged nerve cells. This is done by means of growth stimulating molecules. These neurotrophic factors are naturally present during, for example, the recovery of nerves following a deep cut in the finger. Normally they are not present in large enough quantities in the spinal cord. Over the next few years the researchers will try to improve their therapy. PhD student Bas Blits will continue his research (with sponsorship from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) at the University of Miami, where he will also attempt to implant stem cells instead of the used nerve cells from the fore rib.

The researchers attempted to repair three sorts of spinal cord damage in rats. The first, the dorsal, partial hemisection is comparable to a knife stab in the back in humans. The two most important neural tracts for voluntary movement are severed. In both humans and rats the result is a paralysed lower body. In rats the result is partially paralysed rear legs. After therapy the rat's walking improved. It appeared that one of the two neural tracts slowly recovered.

The second spinal cord lesion examined by the researchers was the complete transection at the height of the eighth vertebra. The spinal cord is completely severed, comparable in humans to a spinal cord lesion after a violent knife stab in the rib area. Also, this type results in paralysis in the lower part of the body. After the therapy the rat could make some movement with his hind limbs. The scientists are still trying to clarify this because anatomical investigation demonstrated that there was no recovery of the spinal cord lesion.

The third type of damage was ventral root avulsion. In this model the outgoing nerve fibre is torn lose from the spinal cord, for example during a serious motorbike accident. This damage often results in the dying of the affected motor neurones. These are large nerve cells which control movement. After the administration of growth stimulating substances, it appeared that the motor neurones did not die but neither did they regenerate and recover.

The research was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. "Rat Makes A Partial Recovery Following A Spinal Cord Lesion." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020221073428.htm>.
Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. (2002, February 21). Rat Makes A Partial Recovery Following A Spinal Cord Lesion. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020221073428.htm
Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. "Rat Makes A Partial Recovery Following A Spinal Cord Lesion." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020221073428.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) A federal judge temporarily banned coyote hunting to save endangered red wolves, but local hunters say that the wolf preservation program does more harm than good. Meanwhile federal officials are reviewing its wolf program in North Carolina. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) New England farms are seeing a surge in younger farm hands as the 'buy local' food movement grows across the country. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins