After spinal cord injury (SCI), secondary injury results in an expanding area of glial cell apoptosis. Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) actively proliferate after SCI, but many of these cells undergo apoptosis. One of the factors that exacerbates secondary injury is endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. In this study, we tested the effects of amiloride treatment on the fate of OPCs during secondary injury in rats. Amiloride is an FDA-approved diuretic for treating hypertension, which in rats enhances ER stress response and suppresses the apoptosis of glial cells after SCI. A severe contusive SCI was induced in Sprague-Dawley rats using an infinite horizon (IH)-impactor (200 kdyne). Beginning 24 h after SCI, 10 mg/kg of amiloride or phosphate buffered saline (PBS) was intraperitoneally administered daily for a period of 14 days. At 7, 14, 28, and 56 days after SCI, animals were subsequently euthanized in order to analyze the injured spinal cord. We labeled proliferating OPCs and demonstrated that amiloride treatment led to greater numbers of OPCs and oligodendrocytes in the injured spinal cord. Increased myelin basic protein (MBP) expression levels were observed, suggesting that increased numbers of mature oligodendrocytes led to improved remyelination, significantly improving motor function recovery.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited