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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 May 2024 - 17 May 2024

2024 Apr 29





Dissecting Genetic Mechanisms of Differential Locomotion, Depression, and Allodynia after Spinal Cord Injury in Three Mouse Strains.


Yang WW, Matyas JJ, Li Y, Lee H, Lei Z, Renn CL, Faden AI, Dorsey SG, Wu J


Strain differences have been reported for motor behaviors, and only a subset of spinal cord injury (SCI) patients develop neuropathic pain, implicating genetic or genomic contribution to this condition. Here, we evaluated neuropsychiatric behaviors in A/J, BALB/c, and C57BL/6 male mice and tested genetic or genomic alterations following SCI. A/J and BALB/c naive mice showed significantly less locomotor activity and greater anxiety-like behavior than C57BL/6 mice. Although SCI elicited locomotor dysfunction, C57BL/6 and A/J mice showed the best and the worst post-traumatic recovery, respectively. Mild (m)-SCI mice showed deficits in gait dynamics. All moderate/severe SCI mice exhibited similar degrees of anxiety/depression. mSCI in BALB/c and A/J mice resulted in depression, whereas C57BL/6 mice did not exhibit depression. mSCI mice had significantly lower mechanical thresholds than their controls, indicating high cutaneous hypersensitivity. C57BL/6, but not A/J and BLAB/c mice, showed significantly lower heat thresholds than their controls. C57BL/6 mice exhibited spontaneous pain. RNAseq showed that genes in immune responses and wound healing were upregulated, although A/J mice showed the largest increase. The cell cycle and the truncated isoform of trkB genes were robustly elevated in SCI mice. Thus, different genomics are associated with post-traumatic recovery, underscoring the likely importance of genetic factors in SCI.