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Neurochemical Research

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 772–779 | Cite as

Intrathecal Epigallocatechin Gallate Treatment Improves Functional Recovery After Spinal Cord Injury by Upregulating the Expression of BDNF and GDNF

  • Wei Tian
  • Xiao-Guang Han
  • Ya-Jun Liu
  • Guo-Qing Tang
  • Bo Liu
  • Yong-Qing Wang
  • Bin Xiao
  • Yun-Feng Xu
Original Paper

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the therapeutic effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) administered by subarachnoid injection following spinal cord injury (SCI) in rats and to explore the underlying mechanism. Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups of 12 as follows: a sham group (laminectomy only); a control group; a 10 mg/kg EGCG-treated group; and a 20 mg/kg EGCG-treated group. SCI was induced in the rats using the modified weight-drop method (10 g × 4 cm) at the T10 (10th thoracic vertebral) level. EGCG (10 or 20 mg/kg) or vehicle as control was administered by subarachnoid injection at lumbar level 4 immediately after SCI. Locomotor functional recovery was assessed during the four weeks post-operation using open-field locomotor tests and inclined-plane tests. At the end of the study, the segments of spinal cord encompassing the injury site were removed for histopathological analysis. Immunohistochemical and Western blot analyses were performed to observe the expression of: the B cell CLL/lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2), Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). The results showed that the EGCG-treated animals had significantly better recovery of locomotor function, less myelin loss, greater Bcl-2 expression and attenuated Bax expression. In addition, the EGCG treatment significantly increased the expression of BDNF and GDNF after SCI. These findings suggest that EGCG treatment can significantly improve locomotor recovery, and this neuroprotective effect may be related to the up-regulation of BDNF and GDNF, and the inhibition of apoptosis-related proteins. Therefore, EGCG may be a promising therapeutic agent for SCI.

Keywords

Spinal cord injury Epigallocatechin gallate BDNF GDNF 

Notes

Conflict of interest

None.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Tian
    • 1
  • Xiao-Guang Han
    • 1
  • Ya-Jun Liu
    • 1
  • Guo-Qing Tang
    • 2
  • Bo Liu
    • 1
  • Yong-Qing Wang
    • 1
  • Bin Xiao
    • 1
  • Yun-Feng Xu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Spine SurgeryBeijing Jishuitan HospitalBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of OrthopedicsKunshan Chinese Traditional Medical HospitalKunshanPeople’s Republic of China

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