Two effective behavioral tasks for evaluating sensorimotor dysfunction following traumatic brain injury in mice

J Neurosci Methods. 2003 Oct 15;129(1):87-93. doi: 10.1016/s0165-0270(03)00212-7.


Variants of two sensorimotor tasks, the gridwalk and spontaneous forelimb use (SFL) tasks, were assessed for their ability to reveal behavioral dysfunction following traumatic brain injury (TBI) in mice. These tests have previously been used almost exclusively in evaluating models of spinal injury, ischemia and other forebrain lesions in rats. Male C57BL/6 mice were anesthetized and given unilateral parasagittal controlled cortical impact injury or sham (n = 9) procedures, targeting right anterior (n = 9), middle (n = 9), or posterior (n = 10) locations relative to bregma. Significant forelimb and hindlimb deficits contralateral to the injured hemisphere were observed for at least 1 month and 3 weeks, respectively, on the gridwalk task depending upon insult location. The SFL task revealed a significant asymmetry in forelimb use for at least 5 months following injury. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of the SFL and gridwalk tests in evaluating sensorimotor deficits in mouse injury models involving unilateral forebrain damage.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Brain Injuries / pathology
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Forelimb / physiology*
  • Functional Laterality
  • Hindlimb / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Stereotaxic Techniques*
  • Time Factors
  • Walking / physiology*