Shengmai-san-Mediated Enhancement of Regenerative Response of Spinal Cord Axons After Injury in Rats


Shengmai-san-Mediated Enhancement of Regenerative Response of Spinal Cord Axons After Injury in Rats

Tae Beom Seo1, Kyungmin Baek1, Ku-Birm Kwon1, Sang-Ik Lee1, Jong-Soon Lim1,

In Chan Seol1, Yoon Sik Kim1, Young-Bae Seo1, and Uk Namgung1.

1. Department of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon University, Daejeon 300-716, Korea

Abstract: Shengmai-san (SMS) is a traditional Chinese medicine used to treat diverse symptoms including cardiovascular and neurological disorders. Here we investigated the effects of SMS on regenerative responses of spinal cord axons in rats that were given contusion injury at the lower thoracic level. The injury cavity was confined to a restricted area by SMS treatment, and the signals of glial scar protein chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan (CSPG) and inflammatory cell marker protein CD11β were heavily observed within the injury cavity in SMS-treated animals. Anterograde tracing of DiI-labeled corticospinal tract (CST) axons revealed increases in collateral arborization around and within the injury cavity and caudal elongation by SMS treatment. Furthermore, SMS treatment facilitated neurite elongation of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neurons that were co-cultured with non-neuronal cells prepared from injured spinal cord. Phospho-Erk1/2 was strongly induced in both spinal cord and motor cortical areas after spinal cord injury (SCI), and it was further unregulated in the motor cortex by SMS treatment. In contrast, upregulation of cell division cycle 2 (Cdc2) production by SMS treatment was limited to a local, SCI area. These data suggest that SMS may play an active role in regenerative responses and facilitate axonal regrowth after SCI.

Keywords: Shengmai-san, spinal cord injury, axonal regeneration, Erk1/ 2,
cell division cycle 2 (Cdc2)

This article is an Open Access article published in Journal of Pharmacological Sciences Vol. 110 (2009), No. 4 pp. 483-492.

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