Component analysis of hind limb behavioral alterations after damage to the rat dorsal funiculus

Donald Ganchrow*, Judith K. Margolin, Jerald J. Bernstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Qualitative behavioral deficits after bilateral lesion of the rat dorsal funiculus at T12–13 were studied during prelesion, postoperative (14 to 21 days postlesion), and terminal (the last 4 days before killing at 30, 45, 60, 90, or 120 days postlesion) periods. Utilizing each animal (36 with lesion, 5 sham stress) as its own preoperative control, hind limb performance was rated for five behavioral components (slips, recovery, manner of traverse, movement, tail position) on four apparatuses (wide platform, narrow platform, ladder, parallel bars). Significant postoperative deficits (N = 36) occurred on slips, recovery, and manner; Spearman coefficients between apparatus pairs suggested that either of the platforms and/or parallel bars could have demonstrated most component deficits. Sham-stress controls (N = 5) showed no significant deficits in postoperative performance. Postoperatively, lesion size correlated with some performance deficits. Also, significant postoperative deficits were obtained with 25 to 87% damage of the dorsal column, though solely in the manner of traverse as an individual component; additional destruction (90 to 100%) of the dorsal column added several other deficits. Larger dorsal funicular lesions which included at least 50% of the corticospinal tract significantly affected performance still further, particularly on the parallel bars. Terminal performance (N = 24), in general, was significantly poorer than that at prelesion periods on 23 (of 29 possible) comparisons. Terminal performance degraded considerably at 90 and 120 days compared with post-operative behavior. Because, in related deafferentation studies, changes in bouton renewal and neuronal excitability can occur at these late postlesion periods, eroded behavioral deficits may reflect a loss of synaptic elements critical in mediating stable behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-355
Number of pages17
JournalExperimental Neurology
Volume70
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

Funding

FundersFunder number
National Institutes of HealthNS-06164
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation

    Keywords

    • CS
    • DC
    • corticospinal tract
    • dorsal column

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