Hong, J.; Chang, A.; Zavvarian, M.-M.; Wang, J.; Liu, Y.; Fehlings, M.G. Level-Specific Differences in Systemic Expression of Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Cytokines and Chemokines after Spinal Cord Injury. Int. J. Mol. Sci.2018, 19, 2167.
Hong, J.; Chang, A.; Zavvarian, M.-M.; Wang, J.; Liu, Y.; Fehlings, M.G. Level-Specific Differences in Systemic Expression of Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Cytokines and Chemokines after Spinal Cord Injury. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 2167.
While over half of all spinal cord injuries (SCIs) occur in the cervical region, the majority of preclinical studies have focused on models of thoracic injury. However, these two levels are anatomically distinct—with the cervical region possessing a greater vascular supply, grey-white matter ratio and sympathetic outflow relative to the thoracic region. As such, there exists a significant knowledge gap in the secondary pathology at these levels following SCI. In this study, we characterized the systemic plasma markers of inflammation over time (1, 3, 7, 14, 56 days post-SCI) after moderate-severe, clip-compression cervical and thoracic SCI in the rat. Using high-throughput ELISA panels, we observed a clear level-specific difference in plasma levels of VEGF, leptin, IP10, IL18, GCSF, and fractalkine. Overall, cervical SCI had reduced expressions of both pro- and anti-inflammatory proteins relative to thoracic SCI, likely due to sympathetic dysregulation associated with higher level SCIs. However, contrary to the literature, we did not observe level-dependent splenic atrophy with our incomplete SCI model. This is the first study to compare the systemic plasma-level changes following cervical and thoracic SCI using level-matched and time-matched controls. The results of this study provide the first evidence in support of level-targeted intervention and also challenge the phenomenon of high SCI-induced splenic atrophy in incomplete SCI models.
spinal cord injury; inflammation; plasma
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