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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2018, Article ID 6125901, 15 pages
Research Article

Motor Improvement of Skilled Forelimb Use Induced by Treatment with Growth Hormone and Rehabilitation Is Dependent on the Onset of the Treatment after Cortical Ablation

1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Neuroscience Institute of Castilla y León (INCyL), University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
2Scientific Direction, Medical Centre Foltra, Teo, Spain
3Research and Development, Medical Centre Foltra, Teo, Spain
4Department of Statistics, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain

Correspondence should be addressed to Margarita Heredia; se.lasu@aiderehm and Jesús Devesa; moc.liamg@susej.aseved

Received 24 March 2017; Revised 20 December 2017; Accepted 8 January 2018; Published 20 March 2018

Academic Editor: Stuart C. Mangel

Copyright © 2018 Margarita Heredia 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.


We previously demonstrated that the administration of GH immediately after severe motor cortex injury, in rats, followed by rehabilitation, improved the functionality of the affected limb and reexpressed nestin in the contralateral motor cortex. Here, we analyze whether these GH effects depend on a time window after the injury and on the reexpression of nestin and actin. Injured animals were treated with GH (0.15 mg/kg/day) or vehicle, at days 7, 14, and 35 after cortical ablation. Rehabilitation was applied at short and long term (LTR) after the lesion and then sacrificed. Nestin and actin were analyzed by immunoblotting in the contralateral motor cortex. Giving GH at days 7 or 35 after the lesion, but not 14 days after it, led to a remarkable improvement in the functionality of the affected paw. Contralateral nestin and actin reexpression was clearly higher in GH-treated animals, probably because compensatory brain plasticity was established. GH and immediate rehabilitation are key for repairing brain injuries, with the exception of a critical time period: GH treatment starting 14 days after the lesion. Our data also indicate that there is not a clear plateau in the recovery from a brain injury in agreement with our data in human patients.