Acta Neurologica Belgica

, Volume 119, Issue 1, pp 21–27 | Cite as

MicroRNAs in contusion spinal cord injury: pathophysiology and clinical utility

  • Fang Li
  • Mou-Wang ZhouEmail author
Review article


Spinal cord injury (SCI) in humans is a common central nervous system trauma. Pathophysiologically, SCI involves both primary and secondary damages. Therapeutically, targeting secondary damage including inflammation, neuropathic pain, apoptosis, demyelination, and glial reaction to promote functional benefits for SCI patients has long been considered a potential treatment strategy by neuroscientists and clinicians. As a type of small non-coding RNA, microRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown to play essential roles in the regulation of pathophysiologic processes of SCI and are considered to be an effective treatment method for SCI. Dysregulated expression of miRNAs is observed in SCI patients and animal models of SCI. Furthermore, miRNAs might also be used as biomarkers for diagnostic and prognostic purposes in SCI. Given contusion injury is the most clinically relevant type of SCI, this review mainly focuses on the role of miRNAs in the pathophysiology of contusion SCI and the putative utilization of miRNAs as diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets for contusion SCI.


MicroRNAs Spinal cord injury Review 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant number 81261120563).

Author contributions

FL conceived the content and wrote the critical review. MZ provided the ideas and supervised the work. Both authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

This review does not require ethical approval at our institution.

Informed consent

This review does not have information that could identify the subject. According to the rules of Acta Neurologica Belgian, informed consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Belgian Neurological Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Rehabilitation MedicinePeking University Third HospitalBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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