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.