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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2019 May 21. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001225. [Epub ahead of print]

Hyperbaric oxygen improves functional recovery of the injured spinal cord by inhibiting inflammation and glial scar formation.

Author information

1
Department of orthopedics, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, 215004, China.
2
The Experimental Center, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, 215004, China.
3
Department of radiology, People's Hospital of Changshan, Quzhou, 324200, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Inflammation and glial scar formation determine the recovery process after spinal cord injury (SCI). Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) is used as a rehabilitation therapy for various clinical diseases, including SCI. However, the relationship between HBO therapy and inflammation or glial scar is not fully understood.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic effect and molecular mechanism of HBO on SCI.

METHODS:

A total of 54 developing female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into sham group, SCI group and HBO group, with 18 rats in each group. The model of SCI was established using Allen's method. HBO therapy was administered once a day until the rats were sacrificed.

RESULTS:

The results demonstrated inflammation and glial scar formation are involved in secondary SCI. After HBO treatment, there was a notable improvement of the locomotor function in rats. HBO reduced the inflammatory reaction and glial scar formation by inhibiting inflammation-related factors iNOS and COX-2, and glial scar-related components GFAP and NG2. This process may be achieved by inhibiting AKT and NF-kB pathways.

CONCLUSION:

HBO effectively promotes the recovery of SCI by inhibiting inflammation and glial scar formation.

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