Journal article

Weight-Bearing Locomotion in the Developing Opossum, Monodelphis domestica following Spinal Transection: Remodeling of Neuronal Circuits Caudal to Lesion

Benjamin J Wheaton, Natassya M Noor, Sophie C Whish, Jessie S Truettner, W Dalton Dietrich, Moses Zhang, Peter J Crack, Katarzyna M Dziegielewska, Norman R Saunders

PLOS ONE | PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE | Published : 2013

Abstract

Complete spinal transection in the mature nervous system is typically followed by minimal axonal repair, extensive motor paralysis and loss of sensory functions caudal to the injury. In contrast, the immature nervous system has greater capacity for repair, a phenomenon sometimes called the infant lesion effect. This study investigates spinal injuries early in development using the marsupial opossum Monodelphis domestica whose young are born very immature, allowing access to developmental stages only accessible in utero in eutherian mammals. Spinal cords of Monodelphis pups were completely transected in the lower thoracic region, T10, on postnatal-day (P)7 or P28 and the animals grew to adult..

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