Delayed riluzole treatment is able to rescue injured rat spinal motoneurons

A. Nógrádi, A. Szabó, S. Pintér, G. Vrbová

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of delayed 2-amino-6-trifluoromethoxy-benzothiazole (riluzole) treatment on injured motoneurons was studied. The L4 ventral root of adult rats was avulsed and reimplanted into the spinal cord. Immediately after the operation or with a delay of 5, 10, 14 or 16 days animals were treated with riluzole (n=5 in each group) while another four animals remained untreated. Three months after the operation the fluorescent dye Fast Blue was applied to the proximal end of the cut ventral ramus of the L4 spinal nerve to retrogradely label reinnervating neurons. Three days later the spinal cords were processed for counting the retrogradely labeled cells and choline acetyltransferase immunohistochemistry was performed to reveal the cholinergic cells in the spinal cords. In untreated animals there were 20.4±1.6 (±S.E.M.) retrogradely labeled neurons while in animals treated with riluzole immediately or 5 and 10 days after ventral root avulsion the number of labeled motoneurons ranged between 763±36 and 815±50 (S.E.M.). Riluzole treatment starting at 14 and 16 days after injury resulted in significantly lower number of reinnervating motoneurons (67±4 and 52±3 S.E.M., respectively). Thus, riluzole dramatically enhanced the survival and reinnervating capacity of injured motoneurons not only when treatment started immediately after injury but also in cases when riluzole treatment was delayed for up to 10 days. These results suggest that motoneurons destined to die after ventral root avulsion are programmed to survive for some time after injury and riluzole is able to rescue them during this period of time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-438
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 19 2007


  • reinnervation
  • spinal motoneuron
  • survival
  • ventral root avulsion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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