Multifactorial Assessment of Motor Behavior in Rats after Unilateral Sciatic Nerve Crush Injury.

Knorr S, Rauschenberger L, Lang T, Volkmann J, Ip CW.
J Vis Exp.


The induction of a peripheral nerve injury is a widely used method in neuroscience for the assessment of repair and pain mechanisms among others. In addition, in the research field of movement disorders, sciatic crush injury has been employed to trigger a dystonia-like phenotype in genetically predisposed DYT-TOR1A rodent models of dystonia. To achieve consistent, reproducible and comparable results after a sciatic nerve crush injury, a standardized method for inducing the nerve crush is essential, in addition to a standardized phenotypical characterization. Attention must be paid not only to the specific assortment of behavioral tests, but also to the technical requirements, the correct execution and consecutive data analysis. This protocol describes in detail how to perform a sciatic nerve crush injury and provides a behavioral test battery for the assessment of motor deficits in rats that includes the open field test, the CatWalk XT gait analysis, the beam walking task, and the ladder rung walking task.

Published: Jul 2021