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Pregabalin as a Neuroprotector after Spinal Cord Injury in Rats: Biochemical Analysis and Effect on Glial Cells

By Kee-Yong Ha, Eugene Carragee, Ivan Cheng, Soon-Eok Kwon and Young-Hoon Kim


As one of trials on neuroprotection after spinal cord injury, we used pregabalin. After spinal cord injury (SCI) in rats using contusion model, we observed the effect of pregabalin compared to that of the control and the methylprednisolone treated rats. We observed locomotor improvement of paralyzed hindlimb and body weight changes for clinical evaluation and caspase-3, bcl-2, and p38 MAPK expressions using western blotting. On histopathological analysis, we also evaluated reactive proliferation of glial cells. We were able to observe pregabalin's effectiveness as a neuroprotector after SCI in terms of the clinical indicators and the laboratory findings. The caspase-3 and phosphorylated p38 MAPK expressions of the pregabalin group were lower than those of the control group (statistically significant with caspase-3). Bcl-2 showed no significant difference between the control group and the treated groups. On the histopathological analysis, pregabalin treatment demonstrated less proliferation of the microglia and astrocytes. With this animal study, we were able to demonstrate reproducible results of pregabalin's neuroprotection effect. Diminished production of caspase-3 and phosphorylated p38 MAPK and as well as decreased proliferation of astrocytes were seen with the administration of pregabalin. This influence on spinal cord injury might be a possible approach for achieving neuroprotection following central nervous system trauma including spinal cord injury

Topics: Original Article
Publisher: The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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