Etanercept treatment enhances clinical and neuroelectrophysiological recovery in partial spinal cord injury
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To investigate the effect of an anti-TNF-alpha agent (etanercept) on recovery processes in a partial spinal cord injury (SCI) model using clinical and electrophysiological tests. Twenty-four New Zealand rabbits were divided into three groups: group 1 [SCI + 2 ml saline intramuscular (i.m.), n = 8], group 2 (SCI + 2.5 mg/kg etanercept, i.m., 2-4 h after SCI, n = 8) and group 3 (SCI + 2.5 mg/kg etanercept, i.m., 12-24 h after SCI, n = 8). Rabbits were evaluated before SCI, immediately after SCI, 1 week after, and 2 weeks after SCI, clinically by Tarlov scale and electrophysiologically by SEP. Tarlov scores of groups 2 and 3 were significantly better than group 1, 2 weeks after SCI. SEP recovery was significantly better in groups 2 and 3 than group 1, 2 weeks after SCI. These results show that blocking TNF-alpha mediated inflammation pathway by an anti-TNF-alpha agent enhances clinical and electrophysiological recovery processes in partial SCI model.