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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Detection of chronic sensorimotor impairments in the ladder rung walking task in rats with endothelin-1-induced mild focal ischemia.

A comprehensive evaluation of the effects of neuroprotection, neurogenesis, and compensatory mechanisms on the outcome of ischemic insults requires assessment of morphological and functional parameters. Behavioural tests are essential when recording performance throughout the time course of an experiment and the results bear predictive value in preclinical animal models. The goal of this study was to establish a behavioural test procedure for a model of transient focal ischemia induced by injection of endothelin-1 (eMCAO) that results in relatively mild behavioural deficits. The test protocol used in the present study allows evaluation of quantitative and qualitative impairments in skilled motor performance and is sensitive to detect chronic deficits at chronic post-ischemic time intervals. The ladder rung walking task [J. Neurosci. Methods 115 (2002) 169] is a motor test that assesses skilled walking and measures both forelimb and hindlimb placing, stepping and inter-limb co-ordination. In this study we tested the effect of two different technical variants of endothelin-1 application on infarct volume and motor skills (1) application via pre-implanted guiding cannula in awake animals and (2) via direct injection under halothane anaesthesia. We showed that the ladder rung walking task is sensitive in the assessment of loss of fine motor function after induction of relatively small lesions. In animals with implanted cannulas we found a smaller infarct area and an increase in placement errors prior to ischemia animals with eMCAO under anaesthesia showed a long lasting impairment of the contralateral forelimb up to 4 weeks post-eMCAO.[1]


  1. Detection of chronic sensorimotor impairments in the ladder rung walking task in rats with endothelin-1-induced mild focal ischemia. Riek-Burchardt, M., Henrich-Noack, P., Metz, G.A., Reymann, K.G. J. Neurosci. Methods (2004) [Pubmed]
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