A recent article appearing in the Journal of Neurotrauma spotlights a new therapeutic strategy that may improve outcomes in spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. Researchers suggest that a single injection of fibronectin into the spinal dorsal column immediately following SCI may inhibit the chronic pain associated with the development of mechanical allodynia (though not hyperalgesia) over an 8-month observation period following spinal cord dorsal column crush (DCC). 

Researchers say that by applying various fibronectin fragments alongside competitive inhibitors, the treatment’s effects indicated that they were dependent on the connecting segment-1 (CS-1) motif of fibronectin. Researchers add that the acute fibronectin treatment diminished inflammation and blood-spinal cord barrier permeability. 

According to researchers, the treatment of SCI with fibronectin preserves sensory regulation and protects against the development of chronic allodynia. This in turn, reportedly provides a potential therapeutic intervention to treat chronic pain following SCI. Researchers add that the reduction of serotonin (5-HT) in the superficial dorsal horn was blocked with fibronectin treatment.

The article joins a second article also detailing potential treatment implications for chronic pain following SCI, “These highlighted experimental studies provide new information on mechanisms underlying the development of neuropathic pain and potential therapeutic interventions to treat pain after spinal cord injury,” says Deputy editor of the Journal of Neurotrauma, W. Dalton Dietrich III, PhD, scientific director, the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, and Kinetic Concepts Distinguished Chair in Neurosurgery, professor of neurological surgery, neurology and cell biology at University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Lois Pope LIFE Center, Miami, Fla.

Source: Journal of Neurotrauma