Chronic Spinal Cord Injury (CSCI)
The inability to maintain body weight within prescribed ranges occurs in a significant portion of the human spinal cord injury (SCI) population. Sixteen weeks after SCI, body weights of injured female rats stabilized and were significantly lower than surgical control animals. At the same time point, SCI rats had a significantly lower whole body fat:lean tissue mass ratio than controls, as measured indirectly by NMR. The reduced fat mass and IBAT UCP1 mRNA expression are contraindicative of the cumulative caloric intake by the SCI rats. The prolonged postinjury loss of body weight, including fat mass, is not due to hypophagia but possibly to permanent changes in gastrointestinal transit and absorption, as well as whole body homeostatic mechanisms.