A potential entanglement between the spinal cord and hippocampus: Theta rhythm correlates with neurogenesis deficiency following spinal cord injury in male rats.

Research paper by Hamid H Soltani Zangbar, Tahereh T Ghadiri, Manuchehr Seyedi MS Vafaee, Abbas A Ebrahimi Kalan, Mohammad M Karimipour, Solmaz S Fallahi, Meysam M Ghorbani, Parviz P Shahabi

Indexed on: 05 Sep '20Published on: 03 Sep '20Published in: Journal of Neuroscience Research


Cognitive deficits due to spinal cord injury (SCI) have been elucidated in both animals and humans with SCI. Such disorders may cause concomitant oscillatory changes in regions of the brain involving in cognition; a subject that has not been directed mechanistically. One of the crucial oscillations, having a prominent role in cognition, particularly spatial memory, is hippocampal theta rhythm. Our research revealed that SCI could induce changes not only in the neurogenesis and apoptosis rate of the hippocampus but also in theta power as well as receptors involving in the generation of this rhythm. Herein we used 24 male Wistar rats (Sham/SCI = 12) and examined the effect of spinal cord contusion on hippocampal theta rhythm, spatial memory, and neurodegeneration. We proved that SCI eliminates hippocampus-dependent theta power through spatial working memory, and correlates significantly with neurodegeneration and expression of receptors (NMDA, GABAA, Muscarinic1/M1), which are in turn essential in generation of theta rhythm. The immunohistochemistry analysis also demonstrated a significant decrease in DCX+ and BrdU+ cells; however, according to TUNEL assay, apoptosis is significantly higher in SCI-induced animals. The western blotting analysis further showed a significant reduction of the abovementioned receptors in the hippocampus. We also verified that SCI impairs the spatial memory, proved by poor performance in the Y-maze task. As well as, based on the local field potential recordings analysis, SCI decreases the power of theta rhythm. Eventually, this study demonstrated that chronic brain neurodegeneration occurs after SCI accompanied by theta rhythm and cognitive deficiency. © 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC.