Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology

Committee Chair

Hubscher, Charles H.

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Kumar, Ashok

Committee Member

Stirling, David


Spinal cord--Wounds and injuries--Complications; Kidneys--Abnormalities; Exercise--Physiological aspects


Detrusor-sphincter dyssynergia after chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) leads to over-distention, high bladder pressures and vesico-ureteric reflux into the kidney, resulting in repeated infections and pyelonephritis. Given the importance/limited knowledge of SCI effects on the upper urinary tract, this study assessed expression of two proteins in the kidneys of contused (T9) male rats relative to controls that are indicative of tissue stress/damage (TGFβ, CD11b). The impact of two therapeutic rehabilitation strategies, 60 minutes of step training and general exercise, was then assessed on these protein levels relative to non-trained SCI controls, plus the effectiveness of a shorter training duration (30 minutes). Western blots revealed a significant decrease in the expression of TGFβ and a significant increase in CD11b in kidney tissues following SCI. With both types of training and durations, TGFβ but not CD11b expression returned to normal levels, indicating a benefit of exercise for renal health after chronic SCI.