Recovery of burrowing behavior after spinal cord injury in the larval sea lamprey
Katz, Hilary R.
Fouke, Kaitlyn E.
Losurdo, Nicole A.
Morgan, Jennifer R.
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Following traumatic spinal cord injury, most mammalian species are unable to achieve substantial neuronal regeneration and often experience loss of locomotor function. In contrast, larval sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus) spontaneously recover normal swimming behaviors by 10–12 weeks post-injury, which is supported by robust regeneration of spinal axons. While recovery of swimming behavior is well established, the lamprey’s ability to recover more complex behaviors, such as burrowing, is unknown. Here we evaluated the lamprey’s ability to burrow into a sand substrate over the typical time course of functional recovery (1–11 weeks post-injury). Compared to uninjured control lampreys, which burrow rapidly and completely, spinal-transected animals did not attempt burrowing until 2 weeks post-injury; and they often did not succeed in fully covering their entire body in the sand. Burrowing behavior gradually improved over post-injury time, with most animals burrowing partially or completely by 9–11 weeks post-injury. Burrowing behavior has two components: the initial component that resembles swimming with propagated body undulations and the final component that pulls the tail under the sand. While the duration of the initial component did not differ between control and spinal-transected animals across the entire recovery period, the duration of the final component in spinal-transected animals was significantly longer at all time points measured. These data indicate that, after spinal cord injury, lampreys are able to recover burrowing behaviors, though some deficits persist.
© The Author(s), 2020. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Katz, H. R., Fouke, K. E., Losurdo, N. A., & Morgan, J. R. Recovery of burrowing behavior after spinal cord injury in the larval sea lamprey. Biological Bulletin, 239(3), (2020): 174-182, doi:10.1086/711365.
Suggested CitationKatz, H. R., Fouke, K. E., Losurdo, N. A., & Morgan, J. R. (2020). Recovery of burrowing behavior after spinal cord injury in the larval sea lamprey. Biological Bulletin, 239(3), 174-182.
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