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The repair effect of Huoxue Tongdu decoction on motor function in rat models of acute spinal cord injury via NFs/Trk pathway

Objective: To study the effect of Huoxue Tongdu decoction on motor function in rat models of acute Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) via NFs/Trk pathway.

Method: Totally 108 SD rats were randomly divided into Sham operation group (36 cases), Model group (36 cases) and Huoxue Tongdu decoction treatment group (36 cases). BBB score was evaluated for the hind limbs before surgery and at 1 d, 3 d, 5 d and 7 d after surgery, randomly gave 6 rats termination in each group. The spinal cord was harvested and subjected to HE staining and Nissl staining for observing the morphological changes of motor neurons in the anterior gray horn. The expression levels of BDNF and NT-3 were detected by immunofluorescence assay, and the cells positive for the expression of these two proteins were counted. Western blot was performed to detect the expression of Trk B and Trk C receptors.

Result: Compare with the Model group, BBB score at 1 d, 3 d, 5 d and 7 d in Huoxue Tongdu decoction group was much better (P<0.05). The differences of percentage of Nissl staining positive areas between Model group and Huoxue Tongdu decoction group showed statistical significance (P<0.05). The expression levels of BDNF, NT3 and proteins related to NFs/Trk pathway were significantly up-regulated in Huoxue Tongdu decoction treatment group compared with that in Sham operation group and Model group (P<0.05). The expression levels of Trk B and Trk C receptors in Huoxue Tongdu decoction treatment group, were significantly up-regulated as compared with the Model group (P<0.05). Motor neurons of the anterior gray horn showed good morphology in Huoxue Tongdu decoction.

Conclusion: Huoxue Tongdu decoction promoted the repair of motor function in rats with SCI via the NFs/Trk pathway, which may be beneficial for the survival and axonal repair of neurons.

Author(s): Qingbin Lin, Li Zhang