Histopathological and behavioral characterization of a novel cervical spinal cord displacement contusion injury in the rat

Damien Daniel Pearse, T. P. Lo, K. S. Cho, M. P. Lynch, M. S. Garg, A. E. Marcillo, A. R. Sanchez, Y. Cruz, W. D. Dietrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Cervical contusive trauma accounts for the majority, of human spinal cord injury (SCI), yet experimental use of cervical contusion injury models has been limited. Considering that (1) the different ways of injuring the spinal cord (compression, contusion, and transection) induce very different processes of tissue damage and (2) the architecture of the spinal cord is not uniform, it is important to use a model that is more clinically applicable to human SCI. Therefore, in the current study we have developed a rat model of contusive, cervical SCI using the Electromagnetic Spinal Cord Injury Device (ESCID) developed at Ohio State University (OSU) to induce injury by spinal cord displacement. We used the device to perform mild, moderate and severe injuries (0.80, 0.95, and 1.1 mm displacements, respectively) with a single, brief displacement of <20 msec upon the exposed dorsal surface of the CS cervical spinal cord of female (180-200 g) Fischer rats. Characterization of the model involved the analysis of the temporal histopathological progression of the injury over 9 weeks using histochemical stains to analyze white and gray mater integrity and immunohistochemistry to examine cellular changes and physiological responses within the injured spinal cord. Accompanying the histological analysis was a comprehensive determination of the behavioral functionality of the animals using a battery of motor tests. Characterization of this novel model is presented to enable and encourage its future use in the design and experimental testing of therapeutic strategies that may be used for human SCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-702
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of neurotrauma
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Axon
  • Cervical contusion
  • Model
  • Neuron
  • Neuroprotection
  • Regeneration
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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