Neurochemical Research

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 763–775 | Cite as

Sinomenine Attenuates Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury by Suppressing Oxidative Stress and Inflammation via Nrf2 Pathway

  • Lilian Zhang
  • Weijiang Zhang
  • Binbin ZhengEmail author
  • Naifeng TianEmail author
Original Paper


Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating condition with few efficacious drugs. Sinomenine, a bioactive alkaloid extracted from medicinal herb, has been used as a treatment of rheumatoid diseases. This present study explored the therapeutic effects of sinomenine on locomotor dysfunction and neuropathology in SCI. Our findings revealed that sinomenine mitigated neurological deficits and enhanced neuronal preservation, paralleled with a reduction of apoptosis. Also, sinomenine significantly reduced inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress factors. We further examined erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) nuclear translocation, which mainly controls the coordinated expression of important antioxidant and detoxification genes. An increase in Nrf2 translocation from cytoplasm to nucleus and Nrf2-mediated transactivation was observed after sinomenine administration. Knocking down Nrf2 by siRNA could counteract sinomenine-mediated anti-oxidant stress and anti-inflammation following H2O2-stimulated and LPS-stimulated PC12 cells. Together, our findings indicated that sinomenine has the potential to be an effective therapeutic agent for SCI by inhibiting inflammation and oxidative stress via Nrf2 activation.


Sinomenine Spinal cord injury Oxidative stress Inflammation Nrf2 



This work was supported by the Science and technology project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NO. 81401162), the Public Technology Research Program of Zhejiang Province (LGF18H060011) and Science and Technology Planning Program of Taizhou City (1702KY04).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OrthopaedicsThe Second Affiliated Hospital and Yuying Children’s Hospital of Wenzhou Medical UniversityWenzhouChina
  2. 2.Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of OrthopaedicsWenzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of Orthopaedics, Taizhou HospitalWenzhou Medical UniversityLinhaiChina

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