GM-CSF inhibits glial scar formation and shows long-term protective effect after spinal cord injury

Xian Huang, Jin Mo Kim, Tae Ho Kong, So Ra Park, Yoon Ha, Moon Hang Kim, Hyeonseon Park, Seung Hwan Yoon, Hyung Chun Park, Jong Oon Park, Byoung Hyun Min, Byung Hyune Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Object: This study investigated the effects of granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) on the scar formation and repair of spinal cord tissues in rat spinal cord injury (SCI) model. Methods: Sprague-Dawley male rats (8 weeks old) were randomly divided into the sham-operated group, spinal cord injury group, and injury with GM-CSF treated group. A spinal cord injury was induced at T9/10 levels of rat spinal cord using a vascular clip. GM-CSF was administrated via intraperitoneal (IP) injection or on the dural surface using Gelfoam at the time of SCI. The morphological changes, tissue integrity, and scar formation were evaluated until 4 weeks after SCI using histological and immunohistochemical analyses. Results: The administration of GM-CSF either via IP injection or local treatment significantly reduced the cavity size and glial scar formation at 3-4 weeks after SCI. GM-CSF also reduced the expression of core proteins of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) such as neurocan and NG2 but not phosphacan. In particular, an intensive expression of glial fibriallary acidic protein (GFAP) and neurocan found around the cavity at 4 weeks was obviously suppressed by GM-CSF. Immunostaining for neurofilament (NF) and Luxol fast blue (LFB) showed that GM-CSF preserved well the axonal arrangement and myelin structure after SCI. The expression of GAP-43, a marker of regenerating axons, also apparently increased in the rostral grey matter by GM-CSF. Conclusion: These results suggest that GM-CSF could enhance long-term recovery from SCI by suppressing the glial scar formation and enhancing the integrity of axonal structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-97
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Feb 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the grant of the Korea Health 21 R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (A050082).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'GM-CSF inhibits glial scar formation and shows long-term protective effect after spinal cord injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this