Spinal Trauma in Rodent Studies at CBI

A long-standing goal of spinal cord injury research is to develop effective spinal cord repair strategies for the clinic. Here at CBI, rat models of spinal cord injury provide an important mammalian model in which to evaluate treatment strategies and to understand the pathological basis of spinal cord injuries. These models have facilitated the development of robust tests for assessing the recovery of locomotor and sensory functions. Rat models have also allowed us to understand how neuronal circuitry changes following spinal cord injury and how recovery could be promoted by enhancing spontaneous regenerative mechanisms and by counteracting intrinsic inhibitory factors. Rat studies have also revealed possible routes to rescuing circuitry and cells in the acute stage of injury. Spatiotemporal and functional studies in these models highlight the therapeutic potential of manipulating inflammation, scarring and myelination. In addition, potential replacement therapies for spinal cord injury, including grafts and bridges, stem primarily from rat studies. Here, we discuss advantages and disadvantages of rat experimental spinal cord injury models and summarize knowledge gained from these models. Our studies also show an emerging understanding of different forms of injury, their pathology and degree of recovery has inspired numerous treatment strategies, some of which have led to preclinical trials.


• What is Spine Trauma?

Spinal trauma is damage to the spinal cord caused by an injury. The spinal cord contains nerves that carry messages between the brain and the body, so damage can cause permanent changes in bodily functions.

• What has been done with Rats and Spinal Cords?

Rats whose spinal cords had been severed can regain movement by reorganizing brain circuits associated with muscle control. The rats partially recovered the ability to move their hind limbs unassisted, and brain circuits associated with activation of the rats’ trunk muscles were found to be reorganized.

• Can Spinal Nerve Damage be Repaired?

The spinal cord rarely repairs itself when damaged, but ways of encouraging nerves to regrow are on the horizon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Our Surgical Options.

At CBI, one of our surgical treatment options for the most common form of chronic SCI (at the stage of formed structural defects) requiring surgery is to create favorable conditions for axonal growth by providing “free” space in the structural defect area via the removal of mechanical barriers (scars) by their excision to healthy tissue. This idea has served as the basis for a number of studies on the surgical creation of a structural defect of the spinal cord in rats by complete transection of the cord with a scalpel and partial resection with microsurgical scissors


Contact Comparative Biosciences, Inc. to discuss a scientific study program for Spinal Trauma Studies and Services.

Comparative Biosciences, Inc.    ·    Phone: 408.738.9260