The fate of neurons after traumatic spinal cord injury in rats: A systematic review
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Objective(s): To reach an evidence-based knowledge in the context of the temporal-spatial pattern of neuronal death and find appropriate time of intervention in order to preserve spared neurons and promote regeneration after traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI). Materials and Methods: The study design was based on Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA)-guided systematic review. PubMed and EMBASE were searched (24 October, 2015) with no temporal or linguistic restrictions. Hand-search was performed in the bibliographies of relevant articles. Non-interventional animal studies evaluating time-dependent neuronal death following acute mechanical trauma to the spinal cord were included. We separately evaluated the fate of various populations of neurons including propriospinal neurons, ventral motor neurons, Clarke’s column neurons, and supraspinal neurons. Results: We found 11,557 non-duplicated studies. Screening through the titles and abstracts led to 549 articles, 49 of which met the inclusion criteria. Both necrotic and apoptotic neuronal deaths occur after TSCI, though necrosis is the prominent mechanism. There are differences in the responses of intrinsic neurons of the spinal cord to the TSCI. Also, the extent of neuronal death in the supraspinal neurons depends on the anatomical location of their axons. Conclusion: In order to develop new therapies, selection of the injury model and time of intervention has a crucial role in the efficacy of therapy. In addition, examining the safety and efficacy of an intervention by reliable methods not confounded by the injury-related changes would promote translation of therapies to the clinical application. © 2018, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences. All rights reserved.