Rodent models for treatment of spinal cord injury: research trends and progress toward useful repair
Rosenzweig, Ephron Sa; McDonald, John Wa,b

Departments of aNeurology and Neurological Surgery and the Spinal Cord Injury Restorative Treatment and Research Program, and bAnatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri, USA

Correspondence to Ephron S. Rosenzweig, Department of Neurology, Washington University Medical School, 4444 Forest Park Avenue, (Campus Box 8518), St Louis, MO 63108, USA Tel: +1 314 454 7825; fax: +1 314 454 5300; e-mail:

Abbreviations BDNF: brain-derived neurotrophic factor cAMP: cyclic adenosine monophosphate CNS: central nervous system CSPG: chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan OEC: olfactory ensheathing cell SCI: spinal cord injury

Purpose of review: In this review, we have documented some current research trends in rodent models of spinal cord injury. We have also catalogued the treatments used in studies published between October 2002 and November 2003, with special attention given to studies in which treatments were delayed for at least 4 days after injury.

Recent findings: Most spinal cord injury studies are performed with one of three general injury models: transection, compression, or contusion. Although most treatments are begun immediately after injury, a growing number of studies have used delayed interventions. Mice and the genetic tools they offer are gaining in popularity. Some researchers are setting their sights beyond locomotion, to issues more pressing for people with spinal cord injury (especially bladder function and pain).

Summary: Delayed treatment protocols may extend the window of opportunity for treatment of spinal cord injury, whereas continued progress in the prevention of secondary cell death will reduce the severity of new cases. The use of mice will hopefully accelerate progress towards useful regeneration in humans. Researchers must improve cross-study comparability to allow balanced decisions about potentially useful treatments.!1470345318