Hemicerebellectomy and motor behaviour in rats. III. Kinematics of recovered spontaneous locomotion after lesions at different developmental stages

M. Molinari, L. Petrosini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The locomotion of rats with a right hemicerebellectomy (HCb) performed in adulthood was compared by means of kinematic analysis with the locomotion of rats with a similar lesion performed on the first postnatal day. The age at which the animals received cerebellar lesion made a significant difference with respect to the locomotor strategies utilized in adulthood. During stance, neonatal operate rats showed a clear hyperextension of both hindlimbs but not of the forelimbs. Their locomotor posture was characterized by spinal flexion with the head held lower than normal. During swing, they showed a tendency towards 'high stepping'. Their steps were regular and symmetrical but hypometric. Adult lesioned animals displayed a marked extensor hypotonia, ipsilateral to the lesion during stance and a relevant hyperflexion affecting both sides, during swing. Alteration of the interlimb coordination and modified sequence of steps were also observed. Thus, a highly asymmetrical, impaired and unstable locomotion was displayed by this group of animals. The present findings demonstrate the importance of the age-at-lesion factor in determining the motor strategies in the recovery of locomotor function after HCb in the rat. This evidence is discussed in the light of the widespread anatomical remodelling already demonstrated following neonatal, but not adult, HCb in rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-55
Number of pages13
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume54
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 31 1993

Keywords

  • Cerebellum
  • Infant lesion effect
  • Kinematics
  • Locomotion
  • Motor strategy
  • Neural plasticity
  • Rat
  • Recovery of function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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