In previous experiments we utilized quantitative autoradiography to temporally describe vascular permeability of a radiolabeled vascular tracer following spinal contusion injury in the rat. In the present report we compare these findings with permeability assessments following fetal grafting in the contused rat spinal cord. At 10 days postinjury, Embryonic Day 14 spinal tissue was grafted into the lesioned spinal cord of Sprague-Dawley rats. At 7, 14, and 28 days postgrafting the α-aminoisobutyric acid (AIB) technique was used to assess blood-to-tissue transfer rates in graft and host tissue over several segments of the injured spinal cord. Regional changes in permeability were assessed using four distinct image analysis techniques. Using these methods, we have previously shown that contusion injury alone results in a chronic relapse in vascular permeability. The present data indicate that fetal transplants at 7 days postgrafting have AIB transfer rates that are significantly above uninjured control levels and are similar in magnitude to neighboring host spinal tissue. In addition, permeability in 14- and 28-day intraspinal grafts decreased relative to that of the 7-day transplant group, but remained significantly elevated at and rostral to the injury epicenter. Alternately, graft and host tissue in regions caudal to the injury epicenter (e.g., T10-L2) acquired a functional barrier to AIB as early as 14 days posttransplantation, These experiments suggest that graft development occurs in a different manner or at a different rate in segments of the injured spinal cord rostral and caudal to the injury site. Additionally, it appears that vascular permeability of the injured spinal cord can be influenced by the process of intraspinal transplantation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Neuroscience