Neuroprotective Effects of Combined Treatment with Minocycline and Olfactory Ensheathing Cells Transplantation against Inflammation and Oxidative Stress after Spinal Cord Injury

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Biology, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

2 Neuroscience Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) is considered one of the most devastating injuries leading to neuronal disruption. Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) and minocycline have been shown to promote locomotor function after spinal cord injury. In this study, we have tested the efficacy of combined treatment with minocycline and OECs after contusive spinal cord injury.
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study, adult female Wistar rats were randomly divided into five groups. Rats received an intraperitoneal injection of minocycline immediately after SCI, and then 24 hours after the injury. Transplantations were performed 7 days after the injury. Functional recovery was evaluated using the Basso, Beattie and Bresnahan scale (BBB). After that, the animals were sacrificed, and T11 segment of the spinal cord was removed after 5 weeks, and then used for histopathological, immunohistochemical, and biochemical assessments. Western blot analysis was applied to determine the protein expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 1 beta (IL1β) and caspase3.
The results of this study showed that the combination of OECs graft and minocycline reduced the functional deficits and diminished cavitation and astrogliosis in spinal tissue. The analysis of protein expression by western blotting revealed that minocycline treatment along with OECs transplantation further decreased the level of IL-1β, TNF-α, caspase-3, and the oxidative stress as compared with when minocycline or OECs transplantation was used alone.
The combinatory treatment with OECs graft and minocycline induced a more effective response to the repair of spinal cord injury, and it is considered a therapeutic potential for the treatment of SCI.