Vol 47, No 4 (2013)

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The dose-dependent neuroprotective effect of alpha-lipoic acid in experimental spinal cord injury

Murat Sayin1, Peyker Temiz2, Ahmet Var3, Cüneyt Temiz1
DOI: 10.5114/ninp.2013.36207
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2013;47(4):345-351.

Abstract

Background and purpose

Free radical production after spinal cord injury (SCI) plays an important role in secondary damage. The aim of this study was to investigate neuroprotective effects of the powerful antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) in a spinal cord clip compression injury model.

Material and methods

Fifty-six Sprague-Dawley rats, weighing between 210 and 300 g, were randomly divided into seven groups. Spinal cord injury was performed by an aneurysm clip placed extradurally at the level of T9. Group 1 (sham) received laminectomy only. Group 2 (control) received SCI; Group 3 received 30 mg/kg of methylprednisolone sodium succinate (MPSS); Groups 4, 5, 6 and 7 received ALA at doses of 50, 100, 150, 200 mg/kg, respectively, via the intraperitoneal route immediately after SCI. The rats were neurologically tested 24 hours after trauma. Spinal cord samples from injury sites were harvested for measurement of lipid peroxidation products and histopathological evaluation.

Results

Spinal cord malonyldialdehyde levels of rats in treatment groups decreased after administration of ALA. The difference between the trauma group and groups receiving MPSS-ALA was statistically significant. The difference between the ALA (50, 100, 150 mg/kg) and MPSS groups was insignificant. Group 7 (ALA 200 mg/kg) was excluded from the study because of the possible toxic effect. Alpha lipoic acid and MPSS had similar effects on spinal cord injury in terms of lipid peroxidation, neurological recovery and histopathological changes.

Conclusions

Alpha lipoic acid at a dose range of 50–150 mg/kg is as effective as MPSS (30 mg/kg) in neuroprotection after SCI. Further, more detailed experimental studies are needed to determine the effects of ALA on the detrimental results of secondary SCI before its use in humans.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska