Long-term spinal reflex studies in awake behaving mice.

TitleLong-term spinal reflex studies in awake behaving mice.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsCarp, JS, Tennissen, AM, Chen, XY, Schalk, G, Wolpaw, J
JournalJournal of neuroscience methods
Date Published12/2005
KeywordsElectromyography, implanted electrodes, Monosynaptic, Spinal Cord

The increasing availability of genetic variants of mice has facilitated studies of the roles of specific molecules in specific behaviors. The contributions of such studies could be strengthened and extended by correlation with detailed information on the patterns of motor commands throughout the course of specific behaviors in freely moving animals. Previously reported methodologies for long-term recording of electromyographic activity (EMG) in mice using implanted electrodes were designed for intermittent, but not continuous operation. This report describes the fabrication, implantation, and utilization of fine wire electrodes for continuous long-term recordings of spontaneous and nerve-evoked EMG in mice. Six mice were implanted with a tibial nerve cuff electrode and EMG electrodes in soleus and gastrocnemius muscles. Wires exited through a skin button and traveled through an armored cable to an electrical commutator. In mice implanted for 59-144 days, ongoing EMG was monitored continuously (i.e., 24 h/day, 7 days/week) by computer for 18-92 days (total intermittent recording for 25-130 days). When the ongoing EMG criteria were met, the computer applied the nerve stimulus, recorded the evoked EMG response, and determined the size of the M-response (MR) and the H-reflex (HR). It continually adjusted stimulation intensity to maintain a stable MR size. Stable recordings of ongoing EMG, MR, and HR were obtained typically 3 weeks after implantation. This study demonstrates the feasibility of long-term continuous EMG recordings in mice for addressing a variety of neurophysiological and behavioral issues.


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