Asiaticoside Inhibits Neuronal Apoptosis and Promotes Functional Recovery After Spinal Cord Injury in Rats

Abstract

Spinal cord injury is a critical traumatic injury. This study aimed to investigate the possible protective effects of asiaticoside on neuronal injury in a rat model of spinal cord injury and to clarify the possible molecular mechanisms underlying these protective effects. Rats were randomly divided into the following four groups: naïve, sham, spinal cord injury (moderate mechanical compression injury model), and spinal cord injury + asiaticoside. Time to spontaneous urination after spinal cord injury was measured. The Basso–Beattie–Bresnahan scoring method, inclined plate grasp experiments, and footprint experiments were used to evaluate motor function. Neuritin and TNF-α levels in the spinal cord were detected via ELISA, and caspase-3 level was detected via Western blotting. Spinal cord morphology was assessed via hematoxylin–eosin staining. Apoptosis in the spinal cord was assessed using Fluoro–Jade B staining. Recovery times for spontaneous urination and motor function were shorter in the spinal cord injury + asiaticoside group than in the spinal cord injury group. The neuritin level was increased and TNF-α and caspase-3 levels were decreased in the spinal cord injury + asiaticoside group. Morphological integrity of neurons was better in the spinal cord injury + asiaticoside group than in the spinal cord injury group. It can thus be said that asiaticoside decreased apoptosis of spinal cord neurons. Asiaticoside exerts protective effects against spinal cord injury in rats, possibly by inhibiting the apoptosis of neurons and anti-inflammatory mechanisms.

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Authors

Contributions

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by Lei Fan and Xiaobin Li. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Lei Fan and Tao Liu and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tao Liu.

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All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted. Animal use and care were endorsed by the animal management committee of Zhengzhou University.

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Fan, L., Li, X. & Liu, T. Asiaticoside Inhibits Neuronal Apoptosis and Promotes Functional Recovery After Spinal Cord Injury in Rats. J Mol Neurosci (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12031-020-01601-z

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Keywords

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Asiaticoside
  • TNF-α
  • Neuritin
  • Caspase-3
  • Apoptosis
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • In vivo
  • Morphological integrity
  • Protective effect