The Animal Core is designed to: 1) provide optimum care and maintenance of all animals used in the PPG; 2) provide assistance in all surgical procedures required in the PPG; 3) provide support for and supervision of the step training and robotic testing of spinal transected rats (Projects II and III), spinally injured mice (Project IV) and the electro-mechanical stimulation of the muscles in spinal cord isolated rats (Project I); and 4) maintain an updated database on the health status of the rats and post-mortem tissue distribution. These activities are very demanding with respect to the expertise required and the level of coordination necessary among the Principal Investigators, Animal Health Technician and Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine (DLAM). The amount of care and time required and the skill that is essential in maintaining optimum health of spinal cord isolated and spinal cord transected rats is also quite demanding. Care and treatment nterventions must be uniform and consistent and the general health of the animal must be maintained at the highest level. It is critical to maintain the high quality of care for spinal cord injured animals that we have developed over the years. This experience and the cooperative efforts between Dr. R.R. Roy, the PI of this Core, Mr. M. Herrera, the Animal Health Technician responsible for the day-to-day animal care, and DLAM, has proven to be extremely effective and must be maintained to assure the success of Projects I, II, III, and IV. The Core personnel also will assure that all individuals that work directly with the animals, to include graduate and undergraduate students, are properly trained and supervised in animal care procedures. The robotic testing of the behavioral capabilities of the spinal transected rats is a unique and crucial element for the success of Projects II, III and IV. Dr. D. Reinkensmeyer (UCI) will coordinate the development and building of the robotic systems and Ms. R. Molyneux will supervise and assist in all aspects of the robotic-related studies at UCLA. An animal core is the best mechanism to accomplish these objectives. With an individual R-01 Grant it would be difficult to provide the quantity of personnel necessary with the required skill level to study spinal cord injured animals.

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Duru, Paul O; Tillakaratne, Niranjala J K; Kim, Jung A et al. (2015) Spinal neuronal activation during locomotor-like activity enabled by epidural stimulation and 5-hydroxytryptamine agonists in spinal rats. J Neurosci Res 93:1229-39
Tillakaratne, Niranjala J K; Duru, Paul; Fujino, Hidemi et al. (2014) Identification of interneurons activated at different inclines during treadmill locomotion in adult rats. J Neurosci Res 92:1714-22
Terson de Paleville, Daniela; McKay, William; Aslan, Sevda et al. (2013) Locomotor step training with body weight support improves respiratory motor function in individuals with chronic spinal cord injury. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 189:491-7
Johnson, Will L; Jindrich, Devin L; Roy, Roland R et al. (2012) Quantitative metrics of spinal cord injury recovery in the rat using motion capture, electromyography and ground reaction force measurement. J Neurosci Methods 206:65-72
Harkema, Susan; Behrman, Andrea; Barbeau, Hugues (2012) Evidence-based therapy for recovery of function after spinal cord injury. Handb Clin Neurol 109:259-74
Johnson, Will L; Jindrich, Devin L; Zhong, Hui et al. (2011) Application of a rat hindlimb model: a prediction of force spaces reachable through stimulation of nerve fascicles. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 58:3328-38
Roy, Roland R; Zhong, Hui; Monti, Ryan J et al. (2011) Selectively reshaping a muscle phenotype: functional overload of cat plantaris. Muscle Nerve 43:489-99
Ichiyama, Ronaldo M; Broman, Jonas; Roy, Roland R et al. (2011) Locomotor training maintains normal inhibitory influence on both alpha- and gamma-motoneurons after neonatal spinal cord transection. J Neurosci 31:26-33
Joseph, M Selvan; Bilousova, Tina; Zdunowski, Sharon et al. (2011) Transgenic Mice With Enhanced Neuronal Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I Expression Recover Locomotor Function Better After Spinal Cord Injury. J Neurosci 89:365-372
Kim, Jung A; Roy, Roland R; Kim, Soo J et al. (2010) Electromechanical modulation of catabolic and anabolic pathways in chronically inactive, but neurally intact, muscles. Muscle Nerve 42:410-21

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