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Noradrenergic Components of Locomotor Recovery Induced by Intraspinal Grafting of the Embryonic Brainstem in Adult Paraplegic Rats

1
Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences, 02-093 Warsaw, Poland
2
Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5520; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155520
Received: 23 June 2020 / Revised: 29 July 2020 / Accepted: 30 July 2020 / Published: 1 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuronal Control of Locomotion)
Intraspinal grafting of serotonergic (5-HT) neurons was shown to restore plantar stepping in paraplegic rats. Here we asked whether neurons of other phenotypes contribute to the recovery. The experiments were performed on adult rats after spinal cord total transection. Grafts were injected into the sub-lesional spinal cord. Two months later, locomotor performance was tested with electromyographic recordings from hindlimb muscles. The role of noradrenergic (NA) innervation was investigated during locomotor performance of spinal grafted and non-grafted rats using intraperitoneal application of α2 adrenergic receptor agonist (clonidine) or antagonist (yohimbine). Morphological analysis of the host spinal cords demonstrated the presence of tyrosine hydroxylase positive (NA) neurons in addition to 5-HT neurons. 5-HT fibers innervated caudal spinal cord areas in the dorsal and ventral horns, central canal, and intermediolateral zone, while the NA fiber distribution was limited to the central canal and intermediolateral zone. 5-HT and NA neurons were surrounded by each other’s axons. Locomotor abilities of the spinal grafted rats, but not in control spinal rats, were facilitated by yohimbine and suppressed by clonidine. Thus, noradrenergic innervation, in addition to 5-HT innervation, plays a potent role in hindlimb movement enhanced by intraspinal grafting of brainstem embryonic tissue in paraplegic rats. View Full-Text
Keywords: spinal rats; transplantation; embryonic brainstem; serotonin; α2 adrenergic receptors spinal rats; transplantation; embryonic brainstem; serotonin; α2 adrenergic receptors
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Kwaśniewska, A.; Miazga, K.; Majczyński, H.; Jordan, L.M.; Zawadzka, M.; Sławińska, U. Noradrenergic Components of Locomotor Recovery Induced by Intraspinal Grafting of the Embryonic Brainstem in Adult Paraplegic Rats. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 5520.

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