, Volume 30, Issue 6-7, pp 721-735

Expression of Heat Shock Protein (HSP)-25 and HSP-32 in the Rat Spinal Cord Reconstructed with NeurogelTM

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Abstract

We recently showed a successful reconstruction of the cat spinal cord using NeuroGelTM a polymer hydrogel bridge between the two spinal stumps. The polymer graft supports axonal elongation, myelination and angiogenesis up to 21 months, Wallerian degeneration was diminished and gliotic scarring was prevented. In the present study, we report the expression patterns of two stress proteins, (HSPs) HSP-25 and HSP-32 after spinal cord hemisection with and without reparative surgery with NeuroGelTM. Double immunofluorescence using cell specific markers for neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes (OL), in combination with antibodies for HSP-25 and 32 showed that mainly neurons express both proteins. Both HSPs displayed different temporal expression patterns in the reconstructed spinal cords with a concomitant reduction of secondary damage. In conclusion, Neurogel reconstruction of the spine during the acute phase considerably reduces secondary damage resulting in a rapid and stable regenerative response.