Journal of neurotrauma

Nanoparticle Estrogen in Rat Spinal Cord Injury Elicits Rapid Anti-Inflammatory Effects in Plasma, Cerebrospinal Fluid, and Tissue.

PMID 25845398


Persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) are in need of effective therapeutics. Estrogen (E2), as a steroid hormone, is a highly pleiotropic agent; with anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and neurotrophic properties, it is ideal for use in treatment of patients with SCI. Safety concerns around the use of high doses of E2 have limited clinical application, however. To address these concerns, low doses of E2 (25 μg and 2.5 μg) were focally delivered to the injured spinal cord using nanoparticles. A per-acute model (6 h after injury) was used to assess nanoparticle release of E2 into damaged spinal cord tissue; in addition, E2 was evaluated as a rapid anti-inflammatory. To assess inflammation, 27-plex cytokine/chemokine arrays were conducted in plasma, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and spinal cord tissue. A particular focus was placed on IL-6, GRO-KC, and MCP-1 as these have been identified from CSF in human studies as potential biomarkers in SCI. S100β, an additional proposed biomarker, was also assessed in spinal cord tissue only. Tissue concentrations of E2 were double those found in the plasma, indicating focal release. E2 showed rapid anti-inflammatory effects, significantly reducing interleukin (IL)-6, GRO-KC, MCP-1, and S100β in one or all compartments. Numerous additional targets of rapid E2 modulation were identified including: leptin, MIP-1α, IL-4, IL-2, IL-10, IFNγ, tumor necrosis factor-α, etc. These data further elucidate the rapid anti-inflammatory effects E2 exerts in an acute rat SCI model, have identified additional targets of estrogen efficacy, and suggest nanoparticle delivered estrogen may provide a safe and efficacious treatment option in persons with acute SCI.