The Neuroprotective Effect of Kefir on Spinal Cord Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury in Rats.
J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2015 May ;57(5):335-41. Epub 2015 May 31. PMID: 26113960
OBJECTIVE: The main causes of spinal cord ischemia are a variety of vascular pathologies causing acute arterial occlusions. We investigated neuroprotective effects of kefir on spinal cord ischemia injury in rats.
METHODS: Rats were divided into three groups : 1) sham operated control rats; 2) spinal cord ischemia group fed on a standard diet without kefir pretreatment; and 3) spinal cord ischemia group fed on a standard diet plus kefir. Spinal cord ischemia was performed by the infrarenal aorta cross-clamping model. The spinal cord was removed after the procedure. The biochemical and histopathological changes were observed within the samples. Functional assessment was performed for neurological deficit scores.
RESULTS: The kefir group was compared with the ischemia group, a significant decrease in malondialdehyde levels was observed (p<0.05). Catalase and superoxide dismutase levels of the kefir group were significantly higher than ischemia group (p<0.05). In histopathological samples, the kefir group is compared with ischemia group, there was a significant decrease in numbers of dead and degenerated neurons (p<0.05). In immunohistochemical staining, hipoxia-inducible factor-1α and caspase 3 immunopositive neurons were significantly decreased in kefir group compared with ischemia group (p<0.05). The neurological deficit scores of kefir group were significantly higher than ischemia group at 24 h (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: Our study revealed that kefir pretreatment in spinal cord ischemia/reperfusion reduced oxidative stress and neuronal degeneration as a neuroprotective agent. Ultrastructural studies are required in order for kefir to be developed as a promising therapeutic agent to be utilized for human spinal cord ischemia in the future.