Photochemically induced spinal cord injury in the rat

Brant D. Watson, Ricardo Prado, W. Dalton Dietrich, Myron D. Ginsberg, Barth A. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


We have developed in the rat a minimally invasive model of reproducible spinal cord injury initiated photochemically. With the exposed spinal column intact, 560 nm irradiation of the translucent dorsal surface induces excitation of the systemically injected dye, rose Bengal, in the spinal cord microvasculature. The resultant photochemical reaction leads to vascular stasis. Histopathological changes at 7 days include hemorrhagic necrosis of the central gray matter, edematous pale-staining white matter tracts and vascular congestion. At the level of cord irradiation (T8) the entire cord thickness is necrosed except for the periphery of the anterior funiculus. Voluntary motor function is consistently lost in the subacute phase of injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-300
Number of pages5
JournalBrain research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 5 1986


  • infarction
  • microvascular stasis
  • photochemical sensitization
  • singlet oxygen
  • spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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