Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide prevents cell death in the spinal cord with traumatic injury

Neurosci Lett. 2005 Aug 12-19;384(1-2):117-21. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2005.04.070.


Pituitary adenylyl cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a potent factor in the regulation of neurotransmission, neuroprotection, neurogenesis and anti-inflammation. We here examined the neuroprotective effect of PACAP on injury to the spinal cord tissue of adult rats, induced by dropping a 10 g NYU impactor from the height of 25 mm (moderate injury) or 50 mm (severe injury). PACAP was found to effectively attenuate cell apoptosis in the spinal cord with moderate injury. However, treatment with PACAP had a lesser effect on decreasing DNA fragmentation in the lesion center of the spinal cord with severe contusion injury. Yet, greater extended neural fibers and motor neurons were observed in the rostral and caudal regions of the PACAP-treated spinal cord when compared to that seen in the PBS-treated control. Our findings indicate the beneficial effect of PACAP for the treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Cell Death / drug effects*
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • DNA Fragmentation / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique / methods
  • Laminectomy / methods
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Nerve Growth Factors / pharmacology*
  • Neurofilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Neuropeptides / pharmacology*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / pharmacology*
  • Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Spinal Cord / drug effects*
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism
  • Spinal Cord / pathology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / drug therapy*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / etiology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology
  • Thoracic Vertebrae


  • Adcyap1 protein, rat
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Neurofilament Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide
  • Cyclic AMP