Background: Spinal cord injury is a devastating trauma that leaves survivors at risk for several medical complications throughout their lives. Lercanidipine, a third-generation calcium channel blocker, possesses anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidative properties. This study aimed to evaluate the neuroprotective effects of lercanidipine in an experimental spinal cord trauma model.
Methods: Twenty-one Wistar rats were randomly assigned to three groups. Group 1 (G1) underwent laminectomy. Group 2 (G2) were subjected to trauma following laminectomy. Group 3 (G3) were exposed to trauma following laminectomy and treated with lercanidipine. Lercanidipine was administered intraperitoneally for seven days. Histopathological and immunohistochemical evaluations were conducted.
Results: Regarding Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining, there was no significant difference among the groups. However, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) levels were significantly different across the groups. G2 had significantly higher NF-κB levels compared to G1 and G3.
Conclusion: Lercanidipine, a third-generation calcium channel blocker, is effective against inflammatory responses induced in spinal cord injury. Further studies are required to determine its capability in preventing apoptosis or improving functional recovery. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first in the literature to examine the neuroprotective effects of lercanidipine on spinal cord injury.