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Contuse lesion of the rat spinal cord of moderate intensity leads to a higher time-dependent secondary neurodegeneration than severe one

Secondary neurodegeneration takes place in the surrounding tissue of spinal cord trauma and modifies substantially the prognosis, considering the small diameter of its transversal axis. We analyzed neuronal and glial responses in rat spinal cord after different degree of contusion promoted by the NYU Impactor. Rats were submitted to vertebrae laminectomy and received moderate or severe contusions. Control animals were sham operated. After 7 and 30 days post surgery, stereological analysis of Nissl staining cellular profiles showed a time progression of the lesion volume after moderate injury, but not after severe injury. The number of neurons was not altered cranial to injury. However, same degree of diminution was seen in the caudal cord 30 days after both severe and moderate injuries. Microdensitometric image analysis demonstrated a microglial reaction in the white matter 30 days after a moderate contusion and showed a widespread astroglial reaction in the white and gray matters 7 days after both severities. Astroglial activation lasted close to lesion and in areas related to Wallerian degeneration. Data showed a more protracted secondary degeneration in rat spinal cord after mild contusion, which offered an opportunity for neuroprotective approaches. Temporal and regional glial responses corroborated to diverse glial cell function in lesioned spinal cord. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Tissue and Cell Elsevier
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