Efficient testing of motor function in spinal cord injured rats

Brain Res. 2000 Nov 17;883(2):165-77. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(00)02778-5.


In experimental spinal cord injury studies, animal models are widely used to examine anatomical and functional changes after different treatments and lesion types. A variety of behavioral paradigms exists in the literature, but definitions and criteria for motor performance vary considerably. In this study, we examined the outcome and relation of tests such as the BBB open field locomotion score, footprint analysis, kinematic analysis, placing response, grid walk and narrow beam crossing following two different lesion types. The information obtained was used to design an efficient and reliable testing strategy, which includes a broad spectrum of parameters to enhance sensitivity. This approach should help to standardize modular testing procedures across different laboratories working on spinal cord injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Exploratory Behavior / physiology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Models, Animal
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / injuries