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Spinal Cord. 2006 Jul;44(7):421-6. Epub 2005 Nov 29.

Secondary degeneration reduced by inosine after spinal cord injury in rats.

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  • 1Institute of Neurosciences, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.



Assessment of the potential protective effects of inosine on an animal model of spinal cord injury.


Our previous studies have demonstrated that inosine can directly protect neurons in vitro from zinc-induced injury and axotomized retinal ganglion cells of rats in vivo. This investigation was carried out to examine the possible protective effects of inosine on spinal cord secondary degeneration.


Institute of Neurosciences, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.


Compressive spinal cord injury (95-g load for 1 min) model was established in rats, and inosine was administrated beginning at different time points (2, 12, or 24 h) after spinal cord injury.


Using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL) technique and hematoxylin and eosin staining, our study demonstrated that administration of inosine as late as 12 h after injury significantly reduced the total volume of spinal cord degenerative areas and the number of apoptotic cells 3 days following the trauma.


Inosine can significantly reduce the spread of secondary degeneration and the cell death following spinal cord injury in adult rats. These findings may find a clinical application in the treatment of acute spinal cord injury.

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