Secondary degeneration reduced by inosine after spinal cord injury in rats

Spinal Cord. 2006 Jul;44(7):421-6. doi: 10.1038/ Epub 2005 Nov 29.


Study design: Assessment of the potential protective effects of inosine on an animal model of spinal cord injury.

Objectives: Our previous studies have demonstrated that inosine can directly protect neurons in vitro from zinc-induced injury and axotomized retinal ganglion cells of rats in vivo. This investigation was carried out to examine the possible protective effects of inosine on spinal cord secondary degeneration.

Setting: Institute of Neurosciences, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.

Methods: Compressive spinal cord injury (95-g load for 1 min) model was established in rats, and inosine was administrated beginning at different time points (2, 12, or 24 h) after spinal cord injury.

Results: Using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL) technique and hematoxylin and eosin staining, our study demonstrated that administration of inosine as late as 12 h after injury significantly reduced the total volume of spinal cord degenerative areas and the number of apoptotic cells 3 days following the trauma.

Conclusion: Inosine can significantly reduce the spread of secondary degeneration and the cell death following spinal cord injury in adult rats. These findings may find a clinical application in the treatment of acute spinal cord injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Inosine / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Nerve Degeneration / etiology
  • Nerve Degeneration / pathology*
  • Nerve Degeneration / prevention & control*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / drug therapy*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / pathology*
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / drug effects
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / injuries
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Inosine