Etanercept treatment enhances clinical and neuroelectrophysiological recovery in partial spinal cord injury



To investigate the effect of an anti-TNF-α agent (etanercept) on recovery processes in a partial spinal cord injury (SCI) model using clinical and electrophysiological tests.


Twenty-four New Zealand rabbits were divided into three groups: group 1 [SCI + 2 ml saline intramuscular (i.m.), n = 8], group 2 (SCI + 2.5 mg/kg etanercept, i.m., 2–4 h after SCI, n = 8) and group 3 (SCI + 2.5 mg/kg etanercept, i.m., 12–24 h after SCI, n = 8). Rabbits were evaluated before SCI, immediately after SCI, 1 week after, and 2 weeks after SCI, clinically by Tarlov scale and electrophysiologically by SEP.


Tarlov scores of groups 2 and 3 were significantly better than group 1, 2 weeks after SCI. SEP recovery was significantly better in groups 2 and 3 than group 1, 2 weeks after SCI.


These results show that blocking TNF-α mediated inflammation pathway by an anti-TNF-α agent enhances clinical and electrophysiological recovery processes in partial SCI model.

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This work is supported by the Scientific Research Project Fund of the Cumhuriyet University under project number T-475.

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Correspondence to Fatih Bayrakli.

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F. Bayrakli, H. Balaban and U. Ozum contributed equally to the manuscript.

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Bayrakli, F., Balaban, H., Ozum, U. et al. Etanercept treatment enhances clinical and neuroelectrophysiological recovery in partial spinal cord injury. Eur Spine J 21, 2588–2593 (2012).

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  • Spinal cord injury
  • Inflammation
  • TNF-α
  • Etanercept
  • Somatosensory evoked potentials