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Chronically implanted electrodes for repeated stimulation and recording of spinal cord potentials

Chronically implanted electrodes for repeated stimulation and recording of spinal cord potentials

Journal of Neuroscience Methods 141(1): 125-134

We have recorded and characterized the spinal cord evoked potentials (SCEPs) from the epidural space in the halothane-anesthetized rats. A group of 11 adult Wistar male rats was chronically implanted with two pairs of epidural electrodes. SCEPs were repeatedly elicited by applying electrical stimuli via bipolar U-shaped electrodes to the dorsal aspect of the spinal cord at C3-4 or Th11-12 levels, respectively. Responses were registered with the other pair of implanted electrodes, thus allowing us to monitor the descending (stimulation cervical/recording thoracic) and ascending SCEPs (stimulation thoracic/recording cervical). We studied the time-dependent changes of several SCEP parameters, among them the latency and amplitude of two major negative waves N1 and N2. During 4-weeks' survival, all major components of recordings remained stable and only minor changes in some parameters of the SCEPs were detected. We concluded that this technique enables repeated quantitative analysis of the conductivity of the spinal cord white matter in the rat. Our results indicate that SCEPs could be used in long-term experiments for monitoring progressive changes (degeneration/regeneration) in long projection tracts, primarily those occupying the dorsolateral quadrants of the spinal cord. These include projections that are of interest in spinal cord injury studies, i.e. ascending primary afferents, and important descending pathways including corticospinal, rubrospinal, reticulospinal, raphespinal and vestibulospinal tracts.

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Accession: 011860116

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 15585296

DOI: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2004.06.002

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