Document Type : Original Article
Neuroscience Research Centre, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Neuroscience Research Centre, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
5Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Spinal cord injury (SCI) causes inflammation, deformity and cell loss. It has been shown that Melissa officinalis (MO), as herbal medicine, and dexamethasone (DEX) are useful in the prevention of various neurological diseases. The present study evaluated combinational effects of DEX and MO on spinal cord injury.
Materials and Methods
Thirty six adult male Wistar rats were used in this experimental study. The weight-drop contusion method was employed to induce spinal cord injury in rats. DEX and MO were administrated alone and together in different treatment groups. Intra-muscular injection of DEX (1 mg/kg) was started three hours after injury and continued once a day for seven days after injury. Intra-peritoneal (I.P) injection of MO (150 mg/ kg) was started one day after injury and continued once a day for 14 days.
Our results showed motor and sensory functions were improved significantly in the group received a combination of DEX and MO, compared to spinal cord injury group. Mean cavity area was decreased and loss of lower motor neurons and astrogliosis in the ventral horn of spinal cord was significantly prevented in the group received combination of DEX and Melissa officinalis, compared to spinal cord injury group. Furthermore, the findings showed a significant augmentation of electromyography (EMG) recruitment index, increase of myelin diameter, and up-regulation of myelin basic protein in the treated group with combination of DEX and MO.
Results showed that combination of DEX and MO could be considered as a neuroprotective agent in spinal cord injury.