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Abstract:   (150 Views)
Introduction: There are some evidences on significant differences in the recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI) between male and female. In this study, we investigated the sensory function and involvement of astrocytes to the sex differences of central pain syndrome in unilateral spinothalamic tract (STT) injury model in rats. 
Methods: Rats were divided into two groups: SCI and Sham groups received either a unilateral electrolytic lesion on STT at T8-T9 or a control sham surgery. After recovery from surgery, sensory function was monitored for 28 days using tail flick and von Frey filament tests. The glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) level was also measured by Western blot in the same time points.
Results: Mechanical hypersensitivity was increased from days 3 to 28 post-injury in male rats (P<0.001), but no significant change was observed in females. In the tail flick model, male rats had significantly elevated thermal withdrawal latency on day3 after STT lesion, while females showed reduction in latency (P<0.001). Sex differences in GFAP level was observed during 4 weeks study after injury. Results in the first week showed that GFAP level was decreased in females, but marked elevation was observed from days 7 to 28 in males (P<0.05).
Conclusion: This study revealed the sex differences in sensory dysfunction and the related astrocyte reactivity after SCI. It suggests a need for more studies using both sexes to fully explore the influence of sex on the recovery of sensory impairments post-SCI.  

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