Effects of Whole-Body Vibration and Manually Assisted Locomotor Therapy on Neurotrophin-3 Expression and Microglia/Macrophage Mobilization Following Thoracic Spinal Cord Injury in Rats.


Microglial cells play an important role in neuroinflammation and secondary damages after spinal cord injury (SCI). Progressive microglia/macrophage inflammation along the entire spinal axis follows SCI, and various factors may determine the microglial activation profile. Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) is known to control the survival of neurons, the function of synapses, and the release of neurotransmitters, while also stimulating axon plasticity and growth. We examined the effects of whole-body vibration (WBV) and forms of assisted locomotor therapy, such as passive flexion-extension (PFE) therapy, at the neuronal level after SCI, with a focus on changes in NT-3 expression and on microglia/macrophage reaction, as they play a major role in the reconstitution of CNS integrity after injury and they may critically account for the observed structural and functional benefits of physical therapy. More specifically, the WBV therapy resulted in the best overall functional recovery when initiated at day 14, while inducing a decrease in Iba1 and the highest increase in NT-3. Therefore, the WBV therapy at the 14th day appeared to be superior to the PFE therapy in terms of recovery. Functional deficits and subsequent rehabilitation depend heavily upon the inflammatory processes occurring caudally to the injury site; thus, we propose that increased expression of NT-3, especially in the dorsal horn, could potentially be the mediator of this favorable outcome.

Author: Schaufler D, Manthou ME, Theotokis P, Rink-Notzon S, Angelov DN

Organization: Department I of Internal Medicine, Lung Cancer Group Cologne, University Hospital Cologne, 50931 Cologne, Germany.

Year: 2023

GID: 5994

Created on: 16.05.2023

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