Background: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a serious disease which can lead to bad consequence
in patients. Gene therapies, as an effective strategy, have been developed for the treatment of
several diseases. But the effect for the treatment of SCI is also waiting to be practiced.
Objective: Here, we explored the effect of NGF administration carried by herpes simplex virus (HSV)
in the injured spinal cord.
Methods: Transgenic recombinant containing human NGF was constructed by using pSP72 plasmid,
then enveloped by non-replication HSV vector with deleted ICP27, ICP4 and ICP34.5 genes. Next,
HSV recombinant carrying NGF was injected into cerebrospinal fluid in the lumbar cord to detect the
effect of NGF for the improvement of motor function, indicated by BBB score. Meanwhile, IHC, QPCR
and WB were used to confirm the NGF transduction.
Results: After SCT, BBB score was largely decreased, followed by a gradual limit recovery with time
going on. Q-PCR confirmed that the mRNA expression of NGF was increased in the spinal cord at 28
days post-operation, compared with that in the sham group, which suggests endogenous NGF may be
available to the limit repair of motor function. Moreover, HSV carried NGF was injected into subarachnoid
space of the spinal cord, which results in a significant functional improvement in hindlimbs from
7dpo to 49dpo. The level of NGF in HSV-NGF administrated group was obviously higher than that in
the empty vector group and SCT group, only.
Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that releasing of HSV-NGF-recombinant in subarachnoid space,
can effectively improve the motor function in hindlimbs of rats subjected to SCT, which supports that
strategy of HSV carrying NGF may be used for the treatment of SCI in future clinic practice.