The effects of N-acetyl-cysteine and acetyl-l-carnitine on neural survival, neuroinflammation and regeneration following spinal cord injury
2014 (English)In: Neuroscience, ISSN 0306-4522, E-ISSN 1873-7544, Vol. 269, 143-151 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Traumatic spinal cord injury induces a long-standing inflammatory response in the spinal cord tissue, leading to a progressive apoptotic death of spinal cord neurons and glial cells. We have recently demonstrated that immediate treatment with the antioxidants N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) and acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC) attenuates neuroinflammation, induces axonal sprouting, and reduces the death of motoneurons in the vicinity of the trauma zone 4weeks after initial trauma. The objective of the current study was to investigate the effects of long-term antioxidant treatment on the survival of descending rubrospinal neurons after spinal cord injury in rats. It also examines the short- and long-term effects of treatment on apoptosis, inflammation, and regeneration in the spinal cord trauma zone. Spinal cord hemisection performed at the level C3 induced a significant loss of rubrospinal neurons 8weeks after injury. At 2weeks, an increase in the expression of the apoptosis-associated markers BCL-2-associated X protein (BAX) and caspase 3, as well as the microglial cell markers OX42 and ectodermal dysplasia 1 (ED1), was seen in the trauma zone. After 8weeks, an increase in immunostaining for OX42 and the serotonin marker 5HT was detected in the same area. Antioxidant therapy reduced the loss of rubrospinal neurons by approximately 50%. Treatment also decreased the expression of BAX, caspase 3, OX42 and ED1 after 2weeks. After 8weeks, treatment decreased immunoreactivity for OX42, whereas it was increased for 5HT. In conclusion, this study provides further insight in the effects of treatment with NAC and ALC on descending pathways, as well as short- and long-term effects on the spinal cord trauma zone.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 269, 143-151 p.
adult rats, spinal cord, motoneurons, antioxidants, apoptosis
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-88071DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.03.042ISI: 000335903900014PubMedID: 24680856OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-88071DiVA: diva2:713439