Respiratory recovery following high cervical hemisection

M. S. Sandhu, B. J. Dougherty, M. A. Lane, D. C. Bolser, P. A. Kirkwood, P. J. Reier, D. D. Fuller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


In this paper we review respiratory recovery following C2 spinal cord hemisection (C2HS) and introduce evidence for ipsilateral (IL) and contralateral (CL) phrenic motor neuron (PhrMN) synchrony post-C2HS. Rats have rapid, shallow breathing after C2HS but ventilation (over(∨, ̇)E) is maintained. over(∨, ̇)E deficits occur during hypercapnic challenge reflecting reduced tidal volume (VT), but modest recovery occurs by 12 wks post-injury. IL PhrMN activity recovers in a time-dependent manner after C2HS, and neuroanatomical evidence suggests that this may involve both mono- and polysynaptic pathways. Accordingly, we used cross-correlation to examine IL and CL PhrMN synchrony after C2HS. Uninjured rats showed correlogram peaks consistent with synchronous activity and common synaptic input. Correlogram peaks were absent at 2 wks post-C2HS, but by 12 wks 50% of rats showed peaks occurring with a 1.1 ± 0.19 ms lag from zero on the abscissa. These data are consistent with prolonged conduction time to IL (vs. CL) PhrMNs and the possibility of polysynaptic inputs to IL PhrMNs after chronic C2HS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-101
Number of pages8
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 30 2009


  • Breathing
  • Phrenic
  • Plasticity
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • General Neuroscience
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Respiratory recovery following high cervical hemisection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this