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Developmental Plasticity Of The Rubrospinal Tract In The North American Opossum

X. M. Xu, G. F. Martin
Published 1989 · Biology, Medicine

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We have shown previously that rubral axons can grow caudal to a lesion of their pathway at thoracic levels of the spinal cord in the developing opossum, Didelphis virginiana. In the present report we expand on that observation and present evidence which suggests that the critical period for plasticity of the rubrospinal tract ends earlier at cervical than at thoracic levels. In addition, we show that most rubrospinal neurons die as a result of axotomy during early stages of the critical period. The opossum was chosen for study because the development of its rubrospinal tract occurs after birth.
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