Administration of Tamoxifen Can Regulate Changes in Gene Expression during the Acute Phase of Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2023 Sep 13;45(9):7476-7491. doi: 10.3390/cimb45090472.


Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) causes irreversible damage leading to incapacity. Molecular mechanisms underlying SCI damage are not fully understood, preventing the development of novel therapies. Tamoxifen (TMX) has emerged as a promising therapy. Our aim was to identify transcriptome changes in the acute phase of SCI and the effect of Tamoxifen on those changes in a rat model of SCI. Four groups were considered: (1) Non-injured without TMX (Sham/TMX-), (2) Non-injured with TMX (Sham/TMX+), (3) injured without TMX (SCI/TMX-), and (4) injured with TMX (SCI/TMX+). Tamoxifen was administered intraperitoneally 30 min after injury, and spinal cord tissues were collected 24 h after injury. Clariom S Assays Array was used for transcriptome analysis. After comparing Sham/TMX- versus SCI/TMX-, 708 genes showed differential expression. The enriched pathways were the SCI pathway and pathways related to the inflammatory response. When comparing SCI/TMX- versus SCI/TMX+, only 30 genes showed differential expression, with no pathways enriched. Our results showed differential expression of genes related to the inflammatory response after SCI, and Tamoxifen seems to regulate gene expression changes in Ccr2 and Mmp12. Our study contributes data regarding the potential value of tamoxifen as a therapeutic resource for traumatic SCI during the acute phase.

Keywords: gene expression; inflammatory response; spinal cord injury; tamoxifen; transcriptome.