Focal adhesion kinase signaling is decreased 56 days following spinal cord injury in rat gastrocnemius

Z. A. Graham, W. Qin, L. C. Harlow, N. H. Ross, W. A. Bauman, P. M. Gallagher, C. P. Cardozo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Study design: Descriptive study. Objectives: The goal of this study was to determine the effects of spinal cord injury (SCI) on aspects of the focal adhesion kinase (FAK) signaling pathway 56 days post injury in rat gastrocnemius. Setting: This study was conducted in Bronx, NY, USA. Methods: Three-month-old male Wistar rats were exposed to either a sham surgery (n=10) or complete T4 spinal cord transection (n=10). Rats were killed 56 days following surgery and the muscle was collected. Following homogenization, proteins of the FAK pathway were analyzed by western immunoblotting or reverse transcription-qPCR. In addition, cellular markers for proteins that target the degradation of FAK were investigated. Results: SCI resulted in significantly lower levels of total and phosphorylated FAK, cSrc and p70S6k, and a trend for increased FRNK protein expression. SCI did not change levels of the α7 or β1 integrin subunits, total or phosphorylated ERK1/2, phosphorylated Akt and TSC2 or total p70S6k. SCI resulted in a greater expression of total Akt. mRNA expression of FAK and the α7 or β1 integrins remained unchanged between sham and SCI groups. Caspase-3/7 activity and Trim72 mRNA and protein expression remained unchanged following SCI. Conclusion: SCI results in diminished FAK signaling and is independent of ERK1/2 and Akt. SCI has no effect on mRNA levels for genes encoding components of the focal adhesion 56 days after injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-509
Number of pages8
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016


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