Basic fibroblast growth factor stimulates functional recovery after neonatal lesions of motor cortex in rats

M. H. Monfils, I. Driscoll, P. M. Vandenberg, N. J. Thomas, D. Danka, J. A. Kleim, B. Kolb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Rats were given bilateral lesions of the motor cortex on the tenth day of life, and then received a daily subcutaneously injection of either basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) or vehicle for 7 consecutive days. In adulthood, they were trained and assessed on a skilled forelimb reaching task. Although all lesion groups were impaired at skilled reaching, the postnatal day 10-lesioned group that received FGF-2 was less impaired than the lesion group that received the vehicle. Furthermore, the lesioned rats that received FGF-2 showed a filling of the lesion cavity with tissue, whereas the lesioned vehicle-treated rats still had a prominent lesion cavity. The functionality of the tissue filling the cavity, tissue surrounding it, and tissue from the motor cortex (in control rats) was assessed using intracortical microstimulation, and showed that stimulation of some sites from the filled cavity could evoke movement. The rats were perfused and processed for Golgi-Cox staining. Medium spiny neurons from the striatum were drawn and analyzed, and the results suggest that postnatal day 10 lesions of the motor cortex induced an increase in the length and complexity of these cells compared with those of non-lesioned rats. Our results suggest that FGF-2 may play an important role in recovery from early brain damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Caudal forelimb area
  • Dendritic morphology
  • Golgi-Cox
  • ICMS
  • Reorganization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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