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Hyperbaric oxygen improves functional recovery of the injured spinal cord by inhibiting inflammation and glial scar formation

Zhou, Yue1,2; Dong, Qirong1; Pan, Zhenzhen3; Song, Yue1; Su, Peng1; Niu, Yanping1; Sun, Yongming1; Liu, Dong1

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: May 21, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001225
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Background Inflammation and glial scar formation determine the recovery process after spinal cord injury (SCI). Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) is used as a rehabilitation therapy for various clinical diseases, including SCI. However, the relationship between HBO therapy and inflammation or glial scar is not fully understood.

Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic effect and molecular mechanism of HBO on SCI.

Methods A total of 54 developing female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into sham group, SCI group and HBO group, with 18 rats in each group. The model of SCI was established using Allen’s method. HBO therapy was administered once a day until the rats were sacrificed.

Results The results demonstrated inflammation and glial scar formation are involved in secondary SCI. After HBO treatment, there was a notable improvement of the locomotor function in rats. HBO reduced the inflammatory reaction and glial scar formation by inhibiting inflammation-related factors iNOS and COX-2, and glial scar-related components GFAP and NG2. This process may be achieved by inhibiting AKT and NF-kB pathways.

Conclusion HBO effectively promotes the recovery of SCI by inhibiting inflammation and glial scar formation.

1Department of orthopedics, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, 215004, China

2The Experimental Center, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, 215004, China

3Department of radiology, People’s Hospital of Changshan, Quzhou, 324200, China

To whom correspondence should be addressed: Dong Liu, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, 1055 Sanxiang road, Suzhou (China). Tel. 13451604878. E-Mail: 32982950@qq.com; Yongming Sun, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, 1055 Sanxiang road, Suzhou (China). Tel. 13182605276. E-Mail: sun-ym@21cn.com.

Yue Zhou and Qirong Dong The authors contributed to this work equally.

Author Disclosures: This study was supported by three Planned Science and Technology Project of Suzhou city (SS201611) (SYSD2016066) (2017Q010). The authors declare no conflict of interesting and no competing financial interests.

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