Laboratory of Neuromuscular Plasticity

Head: Urszula SŁAWIŃSKA

Staff: Anna Cabaj, Mona Nazzal, Teresa Górska (Professor emeritus), Henryk Majczyński

Research profile:

We investigate the neural control of locomotor movements and the plasticity processes in the neuromuscular system in rodents. Particularly, our research involves the functional aspects of muscle recovery after central and peripheral nervous system injury in young as well as in adult rats. More- over, the restitution of motor function related to changes in the locomotor hindlimb movements and the recovery of inter-limb and intra-limb coordination after nervous system injury are investigated. A core feature of our research is directed towards indentifying new rehabilitation methods that can stimulate the neuromuscular plasticity mechanisms responsible for restitution of motor functions after injury. Particularly the effects of the rehabilitation approaches that employ intraspinal neural transplantation, various pharmacological treatment and locomotor training are investigated

Methods:

• behavioral and electromyographical investigation of locomotor ability of freely moving rats
• microsurgery (CNS injury, grafting, EMG electrode implantation)
• footprints or CatWalk analysis
• electrophysiological acute CNS investigations
• immunocytochemistry
• Western blotting

Current research activities:

• monoaminergic systems in control of locomotion of intact rats and on the recovery of hindlimb motor functions after partial or complete spinal cord injury
• intraspinal grafting of embryonic serotonergic cells on recovery of motor functions in adult paraplegic rats
• neuromuscular interaction on the development of muscle, motoneurone, and motor units
• different pharmacological drugs on the muscle functional recovery after PNS injury

Selected publications:

 

Jordan L.M. , McVagh J.R., Noga B.R., Cabaj A.M., Majczyński H., Sławińska U., Provencher J., Leblond H., Rosignol S.  (2014) Cholinergic Mechanisms in Spinal Locomotion - Potential Target for Rehabilitation Approaches. Front Neural Circuits. 8:132. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2014.00132. eCollection 2014.

 

Sławińska U., Miazga K., Cabaj A.M., Leszczyńska A., Majczyński H., Nagy J.I., Jordan L.M. (2013) Grafting of fetal 5-HT neurons into the sublesion spinal cord of paraplegic rats restores coordinated hindlimb locomotion. Exp. Neurol. 247:572-81.

 

Sławińska U., Rossignol S., Bennett D.J., Schmidt B.J., Frigon A., Fouad K., Jordan L.M. (2012) Comment on “Restoring voluntary control of locomotion after paralyzing spinal cord injury”. Science, 338: 328.

 

Sławińska U., Majczyński H., Dai Y., Jordan L.M. (2012) The upright posture improves plantar stepping and alters responses to serotonergic drugs in spinal rats. Journal of Physiology, 590: 1721-1736.
 

Cabaj A.M., Sławińska U. (2012) Riluzole treatment reduces motoneuron death induced by axotomy in newborn rats. Journal of Neurotrauma, 29: 1506-1517