A great deal of this research has been centered on the neuroprotective benefits of astaxanthin. However, no studies have suggested that astaxanthin has therapeutic potential for SCI and the mechanisms underlying astaxanthin neuroprotection are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to determine the therapeutic efficacy of starting astaxanthin treatment 1 day after compressive spinal cord injury (SCI) in rat and to investigate the underlying mechanism. The SD rats were randomly divided into four groups namely: Sham control group, SCI model group, the methylprednisolone sodium succinate (MPSS) group and the astaxanthin treatment group. Western blot analysis and Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were performed to detect the expression of the Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3). Noticeably, astaxanthin at the 80 mg/kg dosage exhibited similar effects as MPSS, which has been frequently used for clinical acute SCI. These results suggested that astaxanthin could increase the expression of NT-3 in SCI.
Key words: Astaxanthin, spinal cord injury, neurotrophin-3.
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