|07-31-2001, 12:50 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Dr Young: Rat PT
I have asked the same question to Dr. Ann Barr who is from Temple University that I asked you in Bilby´s post regarding a standardized PT program for post SCI lab rats. I asked her to give her opinion on developing a standardization.
(PS: I´ve asked her because of her work with rats as well as her being having a PhD in PT.)
You pose an interesting question. Although the rat model I work with
involves the upper limb, I have had occasion to read some of the literature
on the effects of exercise on rats in general, and I do have some knowledge
of post SCI rehabilitation. So, I'll give you my thoughts.
Rehab. after SCI includes preserving joint mobility (i.e. ROM) and
functional restoration (up to and including gait). Of course, following
paralysis, regaining strength is also part of the rehabilitation program.
Gait function, once regained, can be evaluated both qualitatively and
quantitatively in rats. I have run across several articles on methods of
analyzing gait patterns in rats (see citations below). The citation by
Sarin and Gill talks about a "Rotarod treadmill test" that measures
strength in rats. You should also look into work by Michelle Baso (or
Basso). She is a PT, PhD who works with an aniimal (Oppossum, I believe)
model of SCI and functional outcomes.
I and my colleague, Mary Barbe, have been able to train rats to perform a
reaching and pulling task in which some target force threshold must be
reached and maintained for a short period of time in order to produce a
food reward. Such a task requires mobility as well as strength. If you
wanted to apply this concept to a progressive strengthening program, for
example, you could progressively increase the target force threshold
required to produce the reward. I am fairly certain that you could train
rats in a lower limb exertion using the same standard operant training
procedures. We use commercially available operant test chambers and
software (MedPC and ForceLever) from a company called Med Associates in
Georgia, VT. They have a web site. We have had to design our force
transducer handle especially for our task, but the company also has force
levers available that might meet your needs.
Rats can also learn to run on treadmills and swim. Just remember that they
are motivated by food. You may want to train them in the desired tasks
before they undergo SCI and transplant, since the learned behavior depends
upon success (i.e. reward).
Anyway, here are a few references to get you started.
Gorska T, Zmyslowski W, Majczynski H: Overground locomation in intact rats:
interlimb coordination, support patterns and support phases duration. Aca
Neurobiol Exp 1999, 59;131-144
Jamon M, Clarac F: Early walking in the neonatal rat: a kinematic study.
Behav Neurosci 1998, 112;1218-1228
Sarin S, Gill KD: Biochemical and behavioral deficits in adult rat
following chronic dichlorvos exposure. Pharmacol Biocem Behav 1998,
The body of work I have used for upper limb motor behavior and testing is
largely from I. Q. Whishaw and colleagues. They work with UMN disorders.
I guess one advantage to the lack of a standard PT protocol for SCI
recovery in rats is that you get to develop it yourself! I wish you good
luck in your work.
Ann E. Barr, PhD, PT
Physical Therapy Department
College of Allied Health Professions
3307 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19140
fax: (215) 707-7500
Well, I´m no lab tech, but I am interested in this problem.
|07-31-2001, 02:08 AM||#2|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: New Brunswick, NJ, USA
Thanks very much for posting Anne Barr's response. There is growing interest in developing rehabilitation procedures for rats after spinal cord injury. By the way, physical therapists who have gotten their Ph.D.'s are major contributors to spinal cord injury, bringing a unique perspective that is changing our field. For example, Michelle Basso is the first B of the BBB locomotor score, the now standardized system for scoring locomotor recovery after spinal cord injury. Ian Whishaw is not a physical therapist (or at least I don't think so) but is an animal behaviorist par excellence. He is developed something equivalent to the BBB score but for upper limb function.
A number of studies have indicated that exercise significantly increases the amount of neurotrophins being expressed in the brain. For example, Carl Cotman at the University of Irvine published a seminal paper several years ago showing that the expression of neurotrophins in the brain correlated with the number of cycles on the circular wheel that mice and rats ran.
The signal for increased neurotrophin expression is not well understood. One of the interesting possibilities is that exercise and neurotrophin expression in the brain may be mediated by nucleotides such as inosine, adenosine, and guanosine. AIT-082 is a guanosine derivative that crosses the blood brain barrier, for example, and it appears to increase neurotrophin expression and stem cell proliferation in the brain. There may be other signals as well... i.e. antibodies that stimulate myelination (i.e. M1) and regeneration (i.e. IN-1).
|07-31-2001, 09:12 AM||#3|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: beaumont tx usa
"There is growing interest in developing rehabilitation procedures for rats after spinal cord injury". this would explain the wanning interest in helping humans. maybe miami can build a rat high rise to go along side miami project downtown.