Amiloride is a drug approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, which has shown neuroprotective effects in different neuropathological conditions, including brain injury or brain ischemia, but has not been tested in spinal cord injury (SCI). We tested amiloride's therapeutic potential in a clinically relevant rat model of contusion SCI inflicted at the thoracic segment T10. Rats receiving daily administration of amiloride from 24 h to 35 days after SCI exhibited a significant improvement in hindlimb locomotor ability at 21, 28, and 35 days after injury, when compared to vehicle-treated SCI rats. Rats receiving amiloride treatment also exhibited a significant increase in myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) levels 35 days after SCI at the site of injury (T10) when compared to vehicle-treated controls, which indicated a partial reverse in the decrease of MOG observed with injury. Our data indicate that higher levels of MOG correlate with improved locomotor recovery after SCI, and that this may explain the beneficial effects of amiloride after SCI. Given that amiloride treatment after SCI caused a significant preservation of myelin levels, and improved locomotor recovery, it should be considered as a possible therapeutic intervention after SCI
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