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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 134242, 10 pages
Research Article

Therapeutic Efficacy of E-64-d, a Selective Calpain Inhibitor, in Experimental Acute Spinal Cord Injury

1Department of Spine Surgery and Traumatology, Guanghua Integrative Medicine Hospital, Shanghai 200052, China
2Institute of Arthritis Research, Shanghai Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Shanghai 200052, China

Received 28 January 2015; Revised 30 May 2015; Accepted 15 June 2015

Academic Editor: Markus Kipp

Copyright © 2015 Zifeng Zhang et al. 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.


This study aims to investigate the therapeutic effect of calpain inhibitor E-64-d on SCI and to find a new approach to treat SCI. When an SCI rat model was established, it was immediately administered with E-64-d. RT-PCR and Western blotting were used to determine the protein and mRNA levels of calpain 1 and 68-kD NFP. TUNEL staining and NeuN labeling were performed to analyze neuronal apoptosis in the lesion. Immunohistochemistry assay was carried out to observe the expressions of calpain 1 and GFAP. Cyclooxygenase-2 activity was measured to show the immune response status. Locomotor function was evaluated by inclined plane test and Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan locomotor rating scale. The results showed that calpain 1 was activated after SCI occurred. Treatment with E-64-d decreased expressions of calpain 1 and GFAP, alleviated neuronal apoptosis, inhibited cyclooxygenase-2 activity, and resulted in the promoted locomotor function. Furthermore, combination of E-64-d and MP had better efficacy than did E-64-d or MP alone. E-64-d is expected to be applied to treat SCI, and its alliance with MP may provide a valid strategy for SCI therapy.