NF-kappaB inhibition reduces inflammation & pain, increases GABA after spinal cord injury

Spinal cord injury is often followed by increased pain perception. There is both immediate gross inflammation and chronic micro-inflammation.

Treatment with an NF-kB ‘decoy’ effectively blocks (inhibits) NF-kB activation, and was shown to improve outcome after spinal cord injury. Inflammation and pain were reduced, and an increase in GABA neurotransmitter was evidenced.

The publication:

February, 2008

Nuclear factor-kappaB decoy amelioration of spinal cord injury-induced inflammation and behavior outcomes.

Summary of the abstract

Spinal cord injury (SCI) results in a pathophysiology that includes altered nociception (pain perception) and hyperalgesia (lower pain threshold and increased pain sensation). SCI triggers an early and prolonged inflammatory response, with increased interleukin-1beta levels.

Transient changes are observed in NF-kappaB.

There were significant early increases in COX-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase after SCI.

We used synthetic double-stranded “decoy” deoxyoligonucleotides containing selective NF-kB protein dimer binding consensus sequences. Decoys targeting the p65/p50 binding site on the COX-2 promoter decreased SCI-induced cell losses, NF-kappaB p65/p50 DNA-binding activity, and COX-2 and iNOS protein levels. NF-kappaB p65/p50 targeted decoys improved early locomotor recovery after moderate but not severe SCI, yet ameliorated SCI-induced hypersensitization after both moderate and severe SCI.

To determine whether changes in GABA activity played a role in decreased hypersensitivity after SCI and p65/p50 targeted decoy, we counted gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-containing neurons in laminae 1-3. There were significantly more GABAergic neurons in the p65/p50 targeted decoy-treated group at the level of injury.


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