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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2017, Article ID 7514681, 11 pages
Research Article

Mechanism of Restoration of Forelimb Motor Function after Cervical Spinal Cord Hemisection in Rats: Electrophysiological Verification

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kyorin University, 6-20-2 Shinkawa, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181-0004, Japan
2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kugayama Hospital, 2-14-20 Kitakarasuyama, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 157-0061, Japan

Correspondence should be addressed to Takumi Takeuchi; pj.oc.oohay@7011okatomik

Received 26 May 2017; Revised 21 August 2017; Accepted 12 September 2017; Published 12 November 2017

Academic Editor: Barbara Picconi

Copyright © 2017 Takumi Takeuchi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The objective of this study was to electrophysiologically assess the corticospinal tracts of adult rats and the recovery of motor function of their forelimbs after cervical cord hemisection. Of 39 adult rats used, compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs) of the forelimbs of 15 rats were evaluated, before they received left C5 segmental hemisection of the spinal cord, by stimulating the pyramid of the medulla oblongata on one side using an exciting microelectrode. All 15 rats exhibited contralateral electrical activity, but their CMAPs disappeared after hemisection. The remaining 24 rats received hemisection first, and CMAPs of 12 rats were assessed over time to study their recovery time. All of them exhibited electrical activity of the forelimbs in 4 weeks after surgery. The remaining 12 rats received additional right C2 segmental hemisection, and variation of CMAPs between before and after surgery was examined. The right side of the 12 rats that received the additional hemisection exhibited no electrical activity in response to the stimulation of the pyramids on both sides. These results suggest that changes in path between the resected and healthy sides, activation of the ventral corticospinal tracts, and propriospinal neurons were involved in the recovery of motor function after cervical cord injury.