Axon sprouting in adult mouse spinal cord after motor cortex stroke

Christine M. LaPash Daniels, Kathryn L. Ayers, Amanda M. Finley, Joseph P. Culver, Mark P. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Functional reorganization of brain cortical areas occurs following stroke in humans, and many instances of this plasticity are associated with recovery of function. Rodent studies have shown that following a cortical stroke, neurons in uninjured areas of the brain are capable of sprouting new axons into areas previously innervated by injured cortex. The pattern and extent of structural plasticity depend on the species, experimental model, and lesion localization. In this study, we examined the pattern of axon sprouting in spinal cord after a localized lesion which selectively targeted the primary motor cortex in adult mice. We subjected mice to a stereotaxic-guided photothrombotic stroke of the left motor cortex, followed 2 weeks later by an injection of the neuronal tracer biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) into the uninjured right motor cortex. BDA-positive axons originating from the uninjured motor cortex were increased in the gray matter of the right cervical spinal cord in stroke mice, compared to sham control mice. These results show that axon sprouting can occur in the spinal cord of adult wild-type mice after a localized stroke in motor cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-195
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 30 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Axon sprouting
  • Photothrombosis
  • Spinal cord
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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