Clinical canine spinal cord injury provides an opportunity to examine the issues in translating laboratory techniques into practical therapy. Academic Article uri icon


  • STUDY DESIGN: Review. OBJECTIVES: To highlight the value of investigating the effects of putative therapeutic interventions in clinical spinal cord injury (SCI) in domestic dogs. SETTING: England, UK. METHODS: Many experimental interventions in laboratory rodents have been shown to ameliorate the functional deficits caused by SCI; the challenge now is to determine whether they can be translated into useful clinical techniques. Important differences between clinical SCI in human patients and that in laboratory rodents are in the size of the spinal cord and heterogeneity of injury severity. A further key issue is whether the statistical difference in outcome in the laboratory will translate into a useful difference in clinical outcome. Here, we stress the value of investigating the effects of putative therapies in clinical SCI in domestic dogs. The causes of injury, ability to categorise the severity and methods available to measure outcome are very similar between canine and human patients. Furthermore, postmortem tissue more rapidly becomes available from dogs because of their short lifespan than from human patients. RESULTS: The role that investigation of canine SCI might play is illustrated by our preliminary trials on intraspinal transplantation of olfactory glial cells for severe SCI. CONCLUSIONS: This canine translational model provides a means of 'filtering' putative treatments before human application.

published proceedings

  • Spinal Cord

author list (cited authors)

  • Jeffery, N. D., Smith, P. M., Lakatos, A., Ibanez, C., Ito, D., & Franklin, R.

citation count

  • 89

complete list of authors

  • Jeffery, ND||Smith, PM||Lakatos, A||Ibanez, C||Ito, D||Franklin, RJM

publication date

  • January 2006