Project Details


DESCRIPTION (adapted from investigator's abstract): In the proposed
study, spinal cord transection followed by nerve transection will be
utilized in the rat to test the parent grant hypothesis that in women
with complete spinal cord injury as high as T12, sensibility of the
reproductive tract (e.g. cervix) persists because the hypogastric and/or
vagus nerve pathways to the brain retain their integrity. Behavioral,
autonomic and neuroendocrine responses to vaginocervical stimulation
will be measured after spinal cord transection, after which they
hypogastric and/or vagus nerves will be transected, in order to
ascertain whether these nerves mediate the responses that persist after
the spinal cord transection. Thus, the proposed study would extend and
expand the parent grant without overlapping it. The specific aims of
the current proposal are to ascertain whether: a) Analgesia in response
to vagino-cervical stimulation will persist above the level of spinal
transection at L5 or T7, which blocks ascending pathways from pelvic and
hypogastric nerves, respectively. We will ascertain whether subsequent
bilateral transection of hypogastric and then vagus nerves will block and
residual effects, b) Autonomic responses, i.e. increases in heart rate
and pupil dilatation, in response to vagino-cervical stimulation will
be affected by the transections of spinal cord and these nerves, c)
Oxytocin release in response to vaginocervical stimulation will be
affected by the transections of spinal cord and these nerves. The
present application is proposed in collaboration with Carlos Beyer,
Ph.D., and Rafael Cueva-Rolon, M.D., Ph.D., who provide expertise in
spinal cord neurophysiology-neuropharmacology. The proposed research
would provide an experimental neurological foundation on which to base
interpretation of the responses to reproductive tract stimulation in
women with complete spinal cord injury in the parent grant. Evidence of
a role of the vagus nerve in mediating these responses would have
significance for rehabilitation medicine, since it would indicate the
existence of a sensory pathway via which sensory impulses from the cervix
and uterus could enter the brain directly, completely bypassing the
spinal cord, and thus remaining functional even in women who are
complete tetraplegic. The proposed study would provide a significant
opportunity to formally support the active long-term collaborative
research interaction that exists between these two research groups in
the U.S. and Mexico.
Effective start/end date3/16/943/15/95


  • Fogarty International Center


  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.