Characterization of Motor and Somatosensory Evoked Potentials in the Yucatan Micropig Using Transcranial and Epidural Stimulation

Francisco D. Benavides, Andrea J. Santamaria, Nikita Bodoukhin, Luis G. Guada, Juan Solano, James D Guest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Yucatan micropigs have brain and spinal cord dimensions similar to humans and are useful for certain spinal cord injury (SCI) translational studies. Micropigs are readily trained in behavioral tasks, allowing consistent testing of locomotor loss and recovery. However, there has been little description of their motor and sensory pathway neurophysiology. We established methods to assess motor and sensory cortical evoked potentials in the anesthetized, uninjured state. We also evaluated epidurally evoked motor and sensory stimuli from the T6 and T9 levels, spanning the intended contusion injury epicenter. Response detection frequency, mean latency and amplitude values, and variability of evoked potentials were determined. Somatosensory evoked potentials were reliable and best detected during stimulation of peripheral nerve and epidural stimulation by referencing the lateral cortex to midline Fz. The most reliable hindlimb motor evoked potential (MEP) occurred in tibialis anterior. We found MEPs in forelimb muscles in response to thoracic epidural stimulation likely generated from propriospinal pathways. Cranially stimulated MEPs were easier to evoke in the upper limbs than in the hindlimbs. Autopsy studies revealed substantial variations in cortical morphology between animals. This electrophysiological study establishes that neurophysiological measures can be reliably obtained in micropigs in a time frame compatible with other experimental procedures, such as SCI and transplantation. It underscores the need to better understand the motor control pathways, including the corticospinal tract, to determine which therapeutics are suitable for testing in the pig model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2595-2608
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Volume34
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 15 2017

Keywords

  • corticospinal
  • epidural
  • evoked potentials
  • porcine
  • propriospinal
  • spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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