Acute Neuromuscular Adaptation at the Spinal Level Following Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion-Reperfusion in the Rat

  • Pin-Barre Caroline
  • Laurin Jérôme
  • Felix Marie-Solenne
  • Pertici Vincent
  • Kober Frank
  • Marqueste Tanguy
  • Matarazzo Valéry
  • Muscatelli-Bossy Françoise
  • Temprado Jean-Jacques
  • Brisswalter Jeanick
  • Decherchi Patrick

  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Reflexes
  • Sports and exercise medicine
  • Motor reactions
  • Exercise
  • Triceps
  • Edema
  • Magnetic resonance imaging


The purpose of the study was to highlight the acute motor reflex adaptation and to deepen functional deficits following a middle cerebral artery occlusion-reperfusion (MCAO-r). Thirty-six Sprague-Dawley rats were included in this study. The middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO; 120 min) was performed on 16 rats studied at 1 and 7 days, respectively (MCAO-D1 and MCAO-D7, n = 8 for each group). The other animals were divided into 3 groups: SHAM-D1 (n = 6), SHAM-D7 (n = 6) and Control (n = 8). Rats performed 4 behavioral tests (the elevated body swing test, the beam balance test, the ladder-climbing test and the forelimb grip force) before the surgery and daily after MCAO-r. H-reflex on triceps brachii was measured before and after isometric exercise. Infarction size and cerebral edema were respectively assessed by histological (Cresyl violet) and MRI measurements at the same time points than H-reflex recordings. Animals with cerebral ischemia showed persistent functional deficits during the first week post-MCAO-r. H-reflex was not decreased in response to isometric exercise one day after the cerebral ischemia contrary to the other groups. The motor reflex regulation was recovered 7 days post-MCAO-r. This result reflects an acute sensorimotor adaptation at the spinal level after MCAO-r.