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Open Access Model of Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury for Evaluating Pharmacologic Treatments in Cynomolgus Macaques (Macaca fasicularis)

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Here we present the results of experiments involving cynomolgus macaques, in which a model of traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI) was created by using a balloon catheter inserted into the epidural space. Prior to the creation of the lesion, we inserted an EMG recording device to facilitate measurement of tail movement and muscle activity before and after TSCI. This model is unique in that the impairment is limited to the tail: the subjects do not experience limb weakness, bladder impairment, or bowel dysfunction. In addition, 4 of the 6 subjects received a combination treatment comprising thyrotropin releasing hormone, selenium, and vitamin E after induction of experimental TSCI. The subjects tolerated the implantation of the recording device and did not experience adverse effects due the medications administered. The EMG data were transformed into a metric of volitional tail moment, which appeared to be valid measure of initial impairment and subsequent natural or treatment-related recovery. The histopathologic assessment demonstrated widespread axon loss at the site of injury and areas cephalad and caudad. Histopathology revealed evidence of continuing inflammation, with macrophage activation. The EMG data did not demonstrate evidence of a statistically significant treatment effect.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada 2: Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 3: Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 4: Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 5: Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 6: Sanofi, Framingham, Massachusetts 7: Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 8: Center of Comparative Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 9: Lafayette Bone and Joint Clinic, Lafayette, Louisiana 10: Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Canada, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Hamilton Health Sciences, St Joseph's Hamilton Healthcare, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: February 1, 2018

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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