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J Neurosurg. 1987 Apr;66(4):595-603.

Evolution of tissue damage in compressive spinal cord injury in rats.


The evolution of tissue damage in compressive spinal cord injuries in rats was studied using an immunohistochemical technique and by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis. The rupture of small vessels accompanied by intense tissue permeation of serum components in and around the hemorrhagic foci appeared to be immediate consequences of the mechanical insult. The loss of cell membrane integrity in neural elements became evident within 1 hour after injury as shown by the diffuse albumin-immunoreactivity of the cytoplasm. At the site of mechanical insult, approximately 30% of the neurofilament proteins were degraded within 1 hour, and 70% of them were lost within 4 hours after injury. A large number of cells positive for glial fibrillary acidic protein were found to demarcate the injured tissue within 1 hour after injury. The progression of tissue damage largely subsided within 48 hours. One week after injury, severe degeneration of the ascending tracts in the posterior funiculus was shown clearly by axon staining and less convincingly by myelin staining. Secondary degeneration of the corticospinal tract in distal segments remained inconspicuous for up to 3 months.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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