After an incomplete spinal cord injury, the body can partially recover basic motor function. So-called muscle spindles and associated sensory circuits back to the spinal cord promote the establishment of novel neuronal connections after injury. This circuit-level mechanism behind the process of motor recovery was elucidated by Prof. Silvia Arber’s research group at the Biozentrum, University of Basel and the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research. Their findings may contribute to designing novel strategies for treatment after spinal cord injuries and have now been published in the journal Cell.
This shows the sensory nerve terminals (orange) of a muscle spindle.
Illustration: University of Basel, Biozentrum
Aya Takeoka, Isabel Vollenweider, Grégoire Courtine, and Silvia Arber Muscle Spindle Feedback Directs Locomotor Recovery and Circuit Reorganization after Spinal Cord Injury Cell (2014)