Exciting new paper about respiratory recovery after spinal cord injury recently published in Nature

April 11, 2019

Dysfunctional breathing is the main cause of morbidity and mortality after traumatic injury of the cervical spinal cord1,2 and often necessitates assisted ventilation, thus stressing the need to develop strategies to restore breathing. Cervical interneurons that form synapses on phrenic motor neurons, which control the main inspiratory muscle, can modulate phrenic motor output and diaphragmatic function3,4,5. Here, using a combination of pharmacogenetics and respiratory physiology assays in different models of spinal cord injury, we show that mid-cervical excitatory interneurons are essential for the maintenance of breathing in mice with non-traumatic cervical spinal cord injury, and are also crucial for promoting respiratory recovery after traumatic spinal cord injury.

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