Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

Title abbreviation: Adv Clin Exp Med
JCR Impact Factor (IF) – 1.736
5-Year Impact Factor – 2.135
Index Copernicus  – 168.52
MEiN – 70 pts

ISSN 1899–5276 (print)
ISSN 2451-2680 (online)
Periodicity – monthly

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Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

2017, vol. 26, nr 9, December, p. 1329–1334

doi: 10.17219/acem/65478

Publication type: original article

Language: English

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The neuroprotective effect of N-acetylcysteine in spinal cord-injured rats

Edyta Olakowska1,A,B,D, Wiesław Marcol1,A,D, Adam Właszczuk1,B,C, Izabella Woszczycka-Korczyńska1,B,C, Joanna Lewin-Kowalik1,E,F

1 Department of Physiology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland


Background. Spinal cord injury (SCI) is an important cause of impairment of sensory and motor nerve function. It has been shown that free-radical species play an important role in the pathogenesis of acute tissue trauma after SCI. There are no proven pharmacological therapies that provide neuroprotection and stimulate axonal growth after trauma.
Objectives. The aim of this study was to investigate the neuroprotective effect of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on the regeneration of spinal cord injuries in rats.
Material and Methods. A total of 20 male Wistar C rats were subjected to SCI and divided into control and experimental groups. In the control group (n = 10) trepanation and SCI by means of a pressure impactor was performed without any therapy. In the study group (n = 10), 1 dose of NAC was applied intraperitoneally (150 mg/kg b.w.) immediately after SCI, and another one after 24 h. The functional outcome on the Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan (BBB) scale and sciatic functional index (SFI) and morphological features of regeneration were analyzed during a 12-week follow-up. The spinal cords and brains were collected 12 weeks after SCI for histopathological and immunohistochemical analyses.
Results. The rats treated with NAC presented some improvement in locomotor activity and spinal cord morphology when compared to the control group. Namely, the hind paw angle of rotation was significantly lower in the NAC group than in the control group. No differences were observed between the control and study groups in terms of interlimb coordination. The area of the main lesion was only slightly decreased in the NAC group as compared to the control group. The length of lesions in the injured spinal cord in the NAC group was diminished in comparison to the control group. The number of FG-positive cells was higher in the NAC group than in the control group.
Conclusion. The study showed that the neuroprotective activity of NAC had limited positive influence on the regeneration of the isolated SCI in rats.

Key words

neuroprotection, N-acetylcysteine, spinal cord injury, neuroregeneration

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