Most animal models of contused, compressed or transected spinal cord injury (SCI) require a laminectomy to be performed.
However, despite advantages and disadvantages associated with each of these models, the laminectomy itself is generally associated with
significant problems including longer surgery and anaesthesia (related post-operative complications), neuropathic pain, spinal instabilities,
deformities, lordosis, and biomechanical problems, etc. This review provides an overview of findings obtained mainly from our
laboratory that are associated with the development and characterization of a novel murine model of spinal cord transection that does not
require a laminectomy. A number of studies successfully conducted with this model provided strong evidence that it constitutes a simple,
reliable and reproducible transection model of complete paraplegia which is particularly useful for studies on large cohorts of wild-type
or mutant animals - e.g., drug screening studies in vivo or studies aimed at characterizing neuronal and non-neuronal adaptive changes
post-trauma. It is highly suitable also for studies aimed at identifying and developing new pharmacological treatments against aging associated
comorbid problems and specific SCI-related dysfunctions (e.g., stereotyped motor behaviours such as locomotion, sexual response,
defecation and micturition) largely related with ‘command centers’ located in lumbosacral areas of the spinal cord.
Keywords: Model of spinal cord injury, murine model, micturition, central pattern generator, SpinalonTM, loss of voluntary ambulation, locomotion.
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