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Research Article

(-)-Epigallocatechin Gallate Attenuates Spinal Motoneuron Death Induced by Brachial Plexus Root Avulsion in Rats

[ Vol. 29 , Issue. 30 ]


Fatai Lu, Guodong Zhang, Yingkang Zhu and Zunpeng Liu*   Pages 5139 - 5154 ( 16 )


Background: Recent studies have indicated that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) benefits a variety of neurological insults. This study was performed to investigate the neuroprotective effect of EGCG after brachial plexus root avulsion in SD rats.

Methods: One hundred twenty SD rats were randomized into the following three groups: an EGCG group, an Avulsion group, and a Sham group. There were 40 rats in each group. EGCG (100 mg/kg, i.p.) or normal saline was administered to rats immediately following the injuries. The treatment was continued from day 1 to day 7, and the animals were sacrificed on days 3, 7, 14, and 28 post-surgery for the harvesting of spinal cord samples for Nissl staining, immunohistochemistry (caspase-3, p-JNK, p-c-Jun), and western blot analysis (p-JNK, JNK, p-c-Jun, c-Jun).

Results: EGCG treatment caused significant increases in the percentage of surviving motoneurons on days 14 and 28 (p<0.05) compared to the control animals. On days 3 and 7 after avulsion, the numbers of caspase-3-positive motoneurons in the EGCG-treated animals were significantly fewer than in the control animals (p<0.05). The numbers of p- JNK-positive motoneurons and the ratio of p-JNK/JNK were no significant differences between the Avulsion group and the EGCG-treated group after injury at any time point. The numbers of p-c-Jun-positive motoneurons and the ratio of p-c-Jun/c-Jun were significantly lower in the EGCG-treated group compared with the Avulsion group at 3d and 7d after injury (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Our results indicated that motoneurons were protected by EGCG against the cell death induced by brachial plexus root avulsion, and this effect was correlated with inhibiting c-Jun phosphorylation.


Root avulsion, brachial plexus, epigallocatechin gallate, c-Jun phosphorylation, motoneuron death, EGCG.


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