Effects of epigallocatechin gallate on tissue protection and functional recovery after contusive spinal cord injury in rats.
Brain Res. 2010 Jan 8;1306:168-75. Epub 2009 Oct 6. PMID: 19815005
Recent studies revealed the neuroprotective effects of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) on a variety of neural injury .The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of EGCG on the tissue protection and behavioral improvement after spinal cord injury (SCI). Rats were randomly divided into four groups of 18 rats each as follows: sham-operated group, trauma group, and EGCG treatment groups (50 mg/kg, i.p., immediately and 1 hour after SCI). Spinal cord samples were taken 24 hours after injury and studied for determination of malodialdehyde (MDA) levels, immunohistochemistry of Bax and Bcl-2, and TUNEL reaction. Behavioral testing was performed weekly up to 6 weeks post-injury. Then, the rats were euthanized for histopathological assessment. The results showed that MDA levels were significantly decreased in EGCG treatment groups. Greater Bcl-2 and attenuated Bax expression could be detected in the EGCG-treated rats. EGCG significantly reduced TUNEL-positive rate. Also, EGCG significantly reduced the percentage of lesion area and improved behavioral function than the trauma group. On the basis of these findings, we propose that EGCG may be effective in protecting rat spinal cord from secondary injury.