Traumatic injury to the spinal cord results in the delayed dysfunction and neuronal death. Impaired mitochondrial function, generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and lipid peroxidation occur soon after traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI), while the activation of compensatory molecules that neutralize ROS occurs at later time points. The aim of the current study was to investigate the putative neuroprotective effect of Ganoderma lucidum in a rat model of SCI. In order to induce SCI, a standard weight-drop method that induced a moderately severe injury (100 g/cm force) at T10, was used. Injured animals were given either 20 mL/kg Ganoderma lucidum or saline 30 min post injury per day by gastric gavage. At seven days postinjury, rats were decapitated. Spinal cord samples were taken for histological examination or determination of malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH) levels, myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity. SCI caused a significant decrease in spinal cord GSH content, which was accompanied with significant increases in MDA levels, MPO activity. On the other hand, Ganoderma lucidum treatment reversed all these biochemical parameters as well as SCI-induced histopathological alterations. Furthermore, impairment of the neurological functions due to SCI was improved by meloxicam treatment. The present study suggests that Ganoderma Lucidum, reduces SCI-induced oxidative stress and exerts neuroprotection by inhibiting lipid peroxidation, GSH depletion.
KEY WORDS: Spinal cord injury; Ganoderma lucidum; VEGF; PCNA.