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J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2015 May;57(5):335-41. doi: 10.3340/jkns.2015.57.5.335. Epub 2015 May 31.

The Neuroprotective Effect of Kefir on Spinal Cord Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury in Rats.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Faculty of Medicine, Çanakkale, Turkey.
2
Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Faculty of Medicine, Çanakkale, Turkey.
3
Department of Medical Biochemistry, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Faculty of Medicine, Çanakkale, Turkey.
4
Department of Histology and Embryology, Afyon Kocatepe University, Faculty of Medicine, Afyon, Turkey.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The main causes of spinal cord ischemia are a variety of vascular pathologies causing acute arterial occlusions. We investigated neuroprotective effects of kefir on spinal cord ischemia injury in rats.

METHODS:

Rats were divided into three groups : 1) sham operated control rats; 2) spinal cord ischemia group fed on a standard diet without kefir pretreatment; and 3) spinal cord ischemia group fed on a standard diet plus kefir. Spinal cord ischemia was performed by the infrarenal aorta cross-clamping model. The spinal cord was removed after the procedure. The biochemical and histopathological changes were observed within the samples. Functional assessment was performed for neurological deficit scores.

RESULTS:

The kefir group was compared with the ischemia group, a significant decrease in malondialdehyde levels was observed (p<0.05). Catalase and superoxide dismutase levels of the kefir group were significantly higher than ischemia group (p<0.05). In histopathological samples, the kefir group is compared with ischemia group, there was a significant decrease in numbers of dead and degenerated neurons (p<0.05). In immunohistochemical staining, hipoxia-inducible factor-1α and caspase 3 immunopositive neurons were significantly decreased in kefir group compared with ischemia group (p<0.05). The neurological deficit scores of kefir group were significantly higher than ischemia group at 24 h (p<0.05).

CONCLUSION:

Our study revealed that kefir pretreatment in spinal cord ischemia/reperfusion reduced oxidative stress and neuronal degeneration as a neuroprotective agent. Ultrastructural studies are required in order for kefir to be developed as a promising therapeutic agent to be utilized for human spinal cord ischemia in the future.

KEYWORDS:

Cultured milk products; Reperfusion injury; Spinal cord ischemia

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