ORC ID , Wei-wei Xia, Jian Dong, Mao-guang Yang, Jian-hang Jiao">
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 12  |  Page : 1990-1996

Fine motor skill training enhances functional plasticity of the corticospinal tract after spinal cord injury

Department of Orthopedics, China-Japan Union Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin Province, China

Correspondence Address:
Xiao-yu Yang
Department of Orthopedics, China-Japan Union Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin Province
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Source of Support: This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30972153. , Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.197143

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Following central nervous system injury, axonal sprouts form distal to the injury site and extend into the denervated area, reconstructing neural circuits through neural plasticity. How to facilitate this plasticity has become the key to the success of central nervous system repair. It remains controversial whether fine motor skill training contributes to the recovery of neurological function after spinal cord injury. Therefore, we established a rat model of unilateral corticospinal tract injury using a pyramidal tract cutting method. Horizontal ladder crawling and food ball grasping training procedures were conducted 2 weeks before injury and 3 days after injury. The neurological function of rat forelimbs was assessed at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 weeks after injury. Axon growth was observed with biotinylated dextran amine anterograde tracing in the healthy corticospinal tract of the denervated area at different time periods. Our results demonstrate that compared with untrained rats, functional recovery was better in the forelimbs and forepaws of trained rats. The number of axons and the expression of growth associated protein 43 were increased at the injury site 3 weeks after corticospinal tract injury. These findings confirm that fine motor skill training promotes central nervous system plasticity in spinal cord injury rats.

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