Multifaceted effects of rapamycin on functional recovery after spinal cord injury in rats through autophagy promotion, anti-inflammation, and neuroprotection

Hsien Chih Chen, Tsorng Harn Fong, Peng Wei Hsu, Wen Ta Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are serious and debilitating health problems that lead to severe and permanent neurological deficits resulting from the primary mechanical impact followed by secondary tissue injury. During the acute stage after an SCI, the expression of autophagy and inflammatory responses contribute to the development of secondary injury. In the present study, we examined the multifaceted effects of rapamycin on outcomes of rats after an SCI. Materials and methods: We used 72 female Sprague-Dawley rats for this study. In the SCI group, we performed a laminectomy at T10, followed by impact-contusion of the spinal cord. In the control group, we performed only a laminectomy without contusion. We evaluated the effects of rapamycin using the Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan scale for functional outcomes, Western blot analyses for analyzing LC3-II, tumor necrosis factor expression, and p70S6K phosphorylation, and an immunostaining technique for localization and enumeration of microglial and neuronal cells. Results: Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan scores after injury significantly improved in the rapamycin-treated group compared with the vehicle group (on Day 28 after the SCI; P

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013



  • Autophagy
  • Inflammation
  • Neuroprotection
  • Rapamycin
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this