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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 9476020, 21 pages
Review Article

Cytokine and Growth Factor Activation In Vivo and In Vitro after Spinal Cord Injury

1Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Anáhuac, 52786 Huixquilucan, MEX, Mexico
2Centro de Investigación en Ciencias de la Salud (CICSA), Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Anáhuac, 52786 Huixquilucan, MEX, Mexico
3Unidad de Investigación Médica en Inmunología, Hospital de Pediatría, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, IMSS, 52786 México, MEX, Mexico

Received 15 January 2016; Accepted 18 May 2016

Academic Editor: Ulrich Eisel

Copyright © 2016 Elisa Garcia 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.


Spinal cord injury results in a life-disrupting series of deleterious interconnected mechanisms encompassed by the primary and secondary injury. These events are mediated by the upregulation of genes with roles in inflammation, transcription, and signaling proteins. In particular, cytokines and growth factors are signaling proteins that have important roles in the pathophysiology of SCI. The balance between the proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects of these molecules plays a critical role in the progression and outcome of the lesion. The excessive inflammatory Th1 and Th17 phenotypes observed after SCI tilt the scale towards a proinflammatory environment, which exacerbates the deleterious mechanisms present after the injury. These mechanisms include the disruption of the spinal cord blood barrier, edema and ion imbalance, in particular intracellular calcium and sodium concentrations, glutamate excitotoxicity, free radicals, and the inflammatory response contributing to the neurodegenerative process which is characterized by demyelination and apoptosis of neuronal tissue.