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Marie-Pascale Côté

Marie-Pascale Côté, PhD

Associate Professor

Department: Neurobiology & Anatomy


  • BSc in Biological Science/Animal Physiology - Université de Montréal (2000)
  • MSc in Neurological Sciences - Université de Montréal (2001)
  • PhD in Neurolgoical Sciences - Université de Montréal (2007)

Dr. Côté is an associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Research Interests

Plasticity of spinal networks after spinal cord injury


Our research focuses on plasticity of the spinal networks after spinal cord injury (SCI). We are particularly interested in the modifications that lead to impairment of motor function following SCI and activity-dependent mechanisms that assist in motor recovery. Activity-based therapies such as treadmill or bicycle training are routinely integrated into rehabilitation programs in the clinic to induce repetitive activation of neural networks that facilitate locomotor recovery and decrease spasticity after SCI. The addition of stimulation-based therapies to motor training, whether delivered epidurally or transcutaneously, similarly activate spinal networks and further foster recovery after SCI. The objective of our research is to investigate how motor activity and/or spinal cord stimulation contributes to functional recovery after SCI by probing pathways of interest. A better understanding of the mechanisms at play is crucial for the design of optimized rehabilitation strategies after SCI.

Projects currently funded by:

  • National Institutes of Health (NINDS)
  • Craig H. Neilsen Foundation
  • Department of Defense

Lab Members

Christine Buhalo, Research Assistant
Jeremy Weinberger, PhD student
Dillon Malloy, PhD student
Nichole Yakas, MS student


Please see PubMed for a complete list of published work.

Selected Publications

"Adapting Human-Based Transcutaneous Spinal Cord Stimulation to Develop a Clinically Relevant Animal Model"
Malloy, D.C., Knikou, M., Côté, M.-P.
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11, 2023 (2022)

"Exercise-Induced Plasticity in Signaling Pathways Involved in Motor Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury"
Bilchak JN, Caron G, Côté
Int J Mol Sci 22:4858. doi: 10.3390/ijms22094858. PMID: 34064332 (2021)

"Enhancing KCC2 activity decreases hyperreflexia and spasticity after chronic SCI"
Bilchak JN, Yeakle K, Caron G, Malloy DC, Côté M-P
Exp neurol 338:113605. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2021.113605. PMID: 33453210 (2021)

"Locomotor deficits induced by lumbar muscle inflammation involve spinal microglia and are independent of KCC2 expression in a mouse model of complete spinal transection"
Jeffrey-Gauthier R, Bouyer J, Piche M, Côté M-P, Leblond H
Exp Neurol 338:113592. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2020.113592. PMID: 33388315 (2021)

"Direct evidence for decreased presynaptic inhibition evoked by PBSt group I muscle afferents after chronic SCI and recovery with step-training in rats"
Caron G, Bilchak JN, Côté M-P
J Physiol 598: 4621-4642. doi: 10.1113/JP280070. PMID: 32721039 (2020)

Chapter 18: "The role of chloride transporters in spasticity and neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury"
Côté M-P
In: Neuronal Chloride Transporters in Health and Disease. Tang X. (Ed). Elsevier. pps 650 (2020)

"Rehabilitation decreases spasticity by restoring chloride homeostasis through the BDNF-KCC2 pathway after SCI"
Beverungen H, Choyke S., Klasky M, Côté M-P
J Neurotrauma 36: 1-14. doi: 10.1089/neu.2019.6526. PMID: 31578924 (2019)

"Spinal Control of Locomotion: Individual Neurons, Their Circuits and Functions"
Côté M-P, Murray LM and Knikou M  
Front. Physiol. 9:784. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00784. PMID: 29988534 (2018)

"Rehabilitation strategies after spinal cord injury: Inquiry into the mechanisms of success and failure"
Côté M-P, Murray MM, Lemay MA
J. Neurotrauma. 34:1841-1857. doi: 10.1089/neu.2016.4577. PMID: 27762657 (2017)

"Exercise modulates chloride homeostasis after spinal cord injury"
Côté M-P, Zambrotta M, Ghandi S and Houle; JD
J Neurosci 34:8976-8987. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0678-14.2014. PMID: 24990918 (2014)

Contact Information

Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy
2900 W. Queen Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19129
Phone: 215.991.8598
Fax: 215.843.9082