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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 749627, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/749627
Research Article

Ethanol Extract of Chinese Propolis Facilitates Functional Recovery of Locomotor Activity after Spinal Cord Injury

Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Daigaku-nishi 1-25-4, Gifu 501-1196, Japan

Received 14 April 2010; Revised 15 June 2010; Accepted 10 July 2010

Copyright © 2011 Masaki Kasai 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.

Abstract

An ethanol extract of Chinese propolis (EECP) was given intraperitoneally to rats suffering from hemitransection of half of their spinal cord (left side) at the level of the 10th thoracic vertebra to examine the effects of the EECP on the functional recovery of locomotor activity and expression of mRNAs of inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase (iNOS) and neurotrophic factors in the injury site. Daily administration of EECP after the spinal cord injury ameliorated the locomotor function, which effect was accompanied by a reduced lesion size. Furthermore, the EECP suppressed iNOS gene expression, thus reducing NO generation, and also increased the expression level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-3 mRNAs in the lesion site, suggesting that the EECP reduced the inflammatory and apoptotic circumstances through attenuation of iNOS mRNA expression and facilitation of mRNA expression of neurotrophins in the injured spinal cord. These results suggest that Chinese propolis may become a promising tool for wide use in the nervous system for reducing the secondary neuronal damage following primary physical injury.