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Print version ISSN 1807-5932On-line version ISSN 1980-5322


BORGES, Paulo Alvim et al. Standardization of a spinal cord lesion model and neurologic evaluation using mice. Clinics [online]. 2018, vol.73, e293.  Epub Mar 15, 2018. ISSN 1807-5932.


To standardize a spinal cord lesion mouse model.


Thirty BALB/c mice were divided into five groups: four experimental groups and one control group (sham). The experimental groups were subjected to spinal cord lesion by a weight drop from different heights after laminectomy whereas the sham group only underwent laminectomy. Mice were observed for six weeks, and functional behavior scales were applied. The mice were then euthanized, and histological investigations were performed to confirm and score spinal cord lesion. The findings were evaluated to prove whether the method of administering spinal cord lesion was effective and different among the groups. Additionally, we correlated the results of the functional scales with the results from the histology evaluations to identify which scale is more reliable.


One mouse presented autophagia, and six mice died during the experiment. Because four of the mice that died were in Group 5, Group 5 was excluded from the study. All the functional scales assessed proved to be significantly different from each other, and mice presented functional evolution during the experiment. Spinal cord lesion was confirmed by histology, and the results showed a high correlation between the Basso, Beattie, Bresnahan Locomotor Rating Scale and the Basso Mouse Scale. The mouse function scale showed a moderate to high correlation with the histological findings, and the horizontal ladder test had a high correlation with neurologic degeneration but no correlation with the other histological parameters evaluated.


This spinal cord lesion mouse model proved to be effective and reliable with exception of lesions caused by a 10-g drop from 50 mm, which resulted in unacceptable mortality. The Basso, Beattie, Bresnahan Locomotor Rating Scale and Basso Mouse Scale are the most reliable functional assessments, and but the horizontal ladder test is not recommended.

Keywords : Reference Standards; Mice; Spinal Cord; Spinal Cord Compression.

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