Functional recovery of locomotive behavior in the adult spinal dog

1986 Tohoku journal of experimental medicine  
Complete transection of the midthoracic spinal cord was performed on adult female dogs. Development of reflexes and locomotive movements in the hindlimbs after spinal transection was investigated over several months. In the earlier stages after the surgery, dogs showed flaccid paralysis of the hindlimbs. Within several weeks, muscle tone of the hindlimbs was gradually increased accompanied by development of flexion reflex with after-discharge in addition to monosynaptic reflexes. Alternating
more » ... xes. Alternating stepping movement also began to develop. Afterward, extensor thrust and crossed extension reflex were observed. Standing behavior of the hindlimbs was found after enough development of the extensor thrust and correct placement of the pads of the toes. Steady development of stepping and standing caused forward locomotion using fore-and hindlimbs. This walking behavior of the hindlimbs was never inhibited by additional spinal cord transection. These findings indicate that the isolated spinal cord caudal to the transected site is responsible for the locomotive behavior of the hindlimbs in adult spinal dogs. Spinal automatism and development of responses induced by afferent inflow from outside the cord may help to explain such functional recovery of the paralyzed hindlimbs.
doi:10.1620/tjem.148.373 pmid:3461581 fatcat:pzw6lnwdhzeclmzhiqk6keuxmm