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Shock. 2008 Jan;29(1):32-41.

TNF-alpha blockage in a mouse model of SCI: evidence for improved outcome.

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Messina, Italy.


The aim of our study was to evaluate in vivo the therapeutic efficacy of genetic inhibition of TNF-alpha using TNF-R1 knockout mice in an experimental model of spinal cord trauma. Spinal cord injury was induced by the application of vascular clips to the dura via a four-level T5-T8 laminectomy. To elucidate whether the observed anti-inflammatory status is related to the inhibition of TNF-alpha, we also investigated the effect of infliximab, a TNF-alpha-soluble receptor construct, on spinal cord damage. Pharmacological and genetic TNF-alpha inhibition significantly reduced the degree of (1) spinal cord inflammation and tissue injury (histological score), (2) neutrophil infiltration (evaluated by myeloperoxidase activity), (3) cytokine expression (TNF-alpha), (4) and apoptosis (terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated uridine triphosphate end labeling staining, Bax, Bcl-2, and Fas-L expression). In a separate set of experiments, we have also demonstrated that TNF-alpha inhibition significantly ameliorated the recovery of limb function (evaluated by motor recovery score). Taken together, our results demonstrate that inhibition of TNF-alpha reduces the development of inflammation and tissue injury associated with spinal cord trauma, suggesting a possible role of TNF-alpha on the pathogenesis of spinal cord injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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