Cyclosporin A treatment following spinal cord injury to the rat: behavioral effects and stereological assessment of tissue sparing

J Neurotrauma. 2001 May;18(5):513-22. doi: 10.1089/089771501300227314.


The immunosuppressant drug cyclosporin A (CsA) has significant neuroprotective properties following CNS injury. In the present study, we assessed the efficacy of CsA therapy following a moderate spinal cord injury (SCI). Adult female rats were injured with the NYU impactor from a height of 12.5 mm, and CsA or vehicle therapy was initiated 15 min after the injury. All animals were behaviorally tested with the BBB locomotor rating scale prior to morphological assessment of changes in the spinal cord. CsA therapy failed to significantly improve the behavioral recovery following the injury. Using a unique stereological approach to assess tissue damage, it was determined that CsA did not alter the amount of spared tissue. The possible neuroprotective effects of CsA, observed in other models of CNS injury, do not appear to influence SCI pathology, perhaps reflecting both anatomical and physiological differences between these distinct regions of the CNS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cyclosporine / pharmacology
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / pharmacology
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity* / drug effects
  • Paralysis / chemically induced
  • Paralysis / physiopathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / drug therapy*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / pathology*
  • Stereotaxic Techniques*
  • Thoracic Vertebrae


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclosporine