In the normal adult central nervous system, a coupling between energy consumption and vascular density is well established. Likewise, the survival of fetal neural tissue grafts is highly dependent on the establishment of functional vascular integration with the host. However, to what degree graft vascularization and tissue metabolism influence the normal host response to traumatic injury has not been extensively studied. In the present report, embryonic day 14 fetal spinal cord suspension grafts were made into the lesion epicenter of subchronic (10 days) contusion-injured rats. Three months later, intraspinal transplants were analyzed using correlative cytochrome oxidase histochemistry and vascular morphometric analysis. The same approaches were applied to the host spinal cord and injured, non-transplanted animals in order to determine the ability of a graft to alter the level of post-injury vascularization and/or metabolism. In general, graft vascular density was increased over that measured in normal or injured gray matter. Vascular density in gray matter near the host/graft interface was markedly increased when compared to either gray matter of the same spinal level in injured non-grafted animals or normal control spinal gray matter. Vascular changes were not noted in gray matter 3 mm distal to the lesion epicenter (rostral or caudal) in all groups analyzed. Cytochrome oxidase was up- regulated at this time in the graft and gray matter at the host/graft interfaces when compared to either gray matter of the same spinal level in injured, non-grafted animals or that of uninjured controls. These data indicate that an intraspinal transplant placed into the contused adult rat spinal cord reaches a metabolic capacity that is likely to be associated with high levels of oxidative metabolism in the well-vascularized graft neuropil. In addition, transplantation chronically alters vascularization and metabolic patterns of adjacent spinal gray matter following contusion injury.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Journal of Comparative Neurology|
|State||Published - Jan 22 1996|
- image analysis
- spinal cord injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas