Combined delivery of neurotrophin-3 and NMDA receptors 2D subunit strengthens synaptic transmission in contused and staggered double hemisected spinal cord of neonatal rat

Victor L. Arvanian, William J. Bowers, Aileen Anderson, Philip J. Horner, Howard J. Federoff, Lorne M. Mendell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigated whether administration of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and NMDA-2D-expressing units, found previously to enhance transmission in neonatal rat spinal cord, strengthens synaptic connections in the injured neonatal cord. We employed electrophysiological methods to evaluate the strength of synaptic transmission to individual motoneurons in the contusion and staggered double hemisection spinal cord injury (SCI) models. SCI at caudal thoracic levels (T11-T12) was carried out at postnatal day 2 (P2). Plugs containing NT-3- secreting fibroblasts and NR2D-expressing HSV-1 amplicons (HSVnr2d) were implanted above the lesion. Control animals were treated with an amplicon-expressing β-galactosidase (HSVlac). After 8-10 days of treatment, the rats were sacrificed and spinal cords were removed for intracellular recording. Untreated contused cords preserved a fraction of white matter and weak monosynaptic responses were observed through the injury region. However, no synaptic connections were observed in control cords receiving double hemisection injury. Combined treatment with NT-3 and HSVnr2d strengthened monosynaptic connections in contused cords and induced the appearance of weak but functional multisynaptic connections in double hemisected cords. In contrast, treatment with either NT-3 or HSVnr2d alone failed to induce appearance of synaptic responses through the hemisected region. These results suggest that chronic treatment with NT-3 secreting fibroblasts combined with facilitated function of NMDA receptors by HSVnr2d treatment strengthens connections that survive incomplete SCI and therefore that such combined treatment might facilitate recovery of function following SCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-352
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Neurology
Volume197
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2006

Keywords

  • EPSP
  • Engineered fibroblasts
  • HSV amplicon
  • Motoneuron
  • NR2D
  • NT-3
  • Plasticity
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Viral vector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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