Valproic acid protection against the brachial plexus root avulsion-induced death of motoneurons in rats.

Research paper by Dianxiu D Wu, Qiang Q Li, Xiaojuan X Zhu, Guangzhi G Wu, Shusen S Cui

Indexed on: 12 Jul '13Published on: 12 Jul '13Published in: Microsurgery


In this study, the role of valproic acid (VPA) in protecting motoneuron after brachial plexus root avulsion was investigated in adult rats. Sixty rats were used in this study, and underwent the brachial plexus root avulsion injury, which was created by using a micro-hemostat forceps to pull out brachial plexus root from the intervertebral foramen. The animals were divided into two groups, VPA group administered with VPA dissolved in drinking water (300 mg/kg) daily, and control group had drinking water every day. The spinal cords (C5-T1) were harvested at day 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, and 28 for immunohistochemistry analysis, TUNEL staining, Nissl staining, and electron microscopy, respectively. The results showed that with VPA administration, the survival of motoneurons was promoted and the cell apoptosis was inhibited. The number of c-Jun and Bcl-2 positive motoneurons was increased immediately after avulsion both in control and VPA group, however, the percent of c-Jun positive motoneurons was decreased and the percent of Bcl-2 positive motoneurons was increased by VPA treatment significantly. Our results indicated that motoneurons were protected by VPA against cell death induced by brachial plexus root avulsion through c-Jun inhibition and Bcl-2 induction.