Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurosci Res. 2005 Oct 15;82(2):283-93.

Estrogen attenuated markers of inflammation and decreased lesion volume in acute spinal cord injury in rats.

Author information

Department of Neurology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29425, USA.


Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating neurologic injury with functional deficits for which the only currently recommended pharmacotherapy is high-dose methylprednisolone, which has limited efficacy. Estrogen is a multi-active steroid that has shown antiinflammatory and antioxidant effects, and estrogen may modulate intracellular Ca(2+) and attenuate apoptosis. For this study, male rats were divided into three groups. Sham group animals received a laminectomy at T12. Injured rats received both laminectomy and 40 g x cm force SCI. Estrogen-group rats received 4 mg/kg 17beta-estradiol (estrogen) at 15 min and 24 hr post-injury, and vehicle-group rats received equal volumes of dimethyl sulfoxide (vehicle). Animals were sacrificed at 48 hr post-injury, and 1-cm-long segments of the lesion, rostral penumbra, and caudal penumbra were excised. Inflammation was assessed by examining tissue edema, infiltration of macrophages/microglia, and levels of cytosolic and nuclear NFkappaB and inhibitor of kappa B (IkappaBalpha). Myelin integrity was examined using Luxol fast blue staining. When compared to sham, vehicle-treated animals revealed increased tissue edema, increased infiltration of inflammatory cells, decreased cytosolic levels of NFkappaB and IkappaBalpha, increased levels of nuclear NFkappaB, and increased myelin loss. Treatment of SCI rats with estrogen reduced edema and decreased inflammation and myelin loss in the lesion and penumbral areas, suggesting its potential as a therapeutic agent. Further work needs to be done, however, to elucidate the neuroprotective mechanism of estrogen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center