Neuroprotection and its molecular mechanism following spinal cord injury

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34 Scopus citations


Acute spinal cord injury initiates a complex cascade of molecular events termed ‘secondary injury’, which leads to progressive degeneration ranging from early neuronal apoptosis at the lesion site to delayed degeneration of intact white matter tracts, and, ultimately, expansion of the initial injury. These secondary injury processes include, but are not limited to, inflammation, free radical-induced cell death, glutamate excitotoxicity, phospholipase A2 activation, and induction of extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways, which are important targets in developing neuroprotective strategies for treatment of spinal cord injury. Recently, a number of studies have shown promising results on neuroprotection and recovery of function in rodent models of spinal cord injury using treatments that target secondary injury processes including inflammation, phospholipase A2 activation, and manipulation of the PTEN-Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. The present review outlines our ongoing research on the molecular mechanisms of neuroprotection in experimental spinal cord injury and briefly summarizes our earlier findings on the therapeutic potential of pharmacological treatments in spinal cord injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2051-2062
Number of pages12
JournalNeural Regeneration Research
Issue number26
StatePublished - Sep 15 2012


  • Apoptosis
  • Glucocorticoid receptor
  • Inflammation
  • MicroRNAs
  • Neuroprotection
  • Oxidation
  • Phospolipase A
  • Signaling pathway
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience

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