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Several new techniques show promise for spinal cord repair

ler's forceps. Using a subset of 12 animals, the investigators microinjected 2 l (20 U/l) of cABC, in addition to the previous injection of Zymosan, directly where the nerve enters the spinal cord. Twenty rats received no injection, 10 rats received cABC injection alone, and eight rats received Zymosan injection alone.

Two weeks after nerve injury, the animals were euthanized and the neurons were labeled and analyzed for any regrowth from the injured nerve back into the spinal cord. The researchers also tested to see if the new nerves actually worked by performing motor evoked potentials (H-reflex) via stimulating the C8 sensory root and recording action potentials in the triceps muscles.

Eight of the 12 rats that received a combination of Zymosan and cABC had significant nerve regrowth, while two of the 10 rats that received the cABC alone, and five of the eight that received the Zymosan alone showed minimal regeneration. Untreated animals did not show evidence of regeneration through the dorsal root entry zone.

Furthermore, one-third of the group that received the combination Zymosan and cABC positively responded to electrical stimulation, confirming that the nerves that regrew actually worked. Re-severing the nerve resulted in a loss of the electrical response, which indicated that the response was truly due to the regrowth of injured nerves into the spinal cord.

"The finding that nerves can regrow and actually work after injury," says Silver, "strongly suggests that the combination of Zymosan and cABC results in robust and functional regeneration of sensory nerves through the dorsal root entry zone following injury."


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Contact: Leah Ariniello
dawn@sfn.org
202-462-6688
Society for Neuroscience
26-Oct-2004


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