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This was an animal study. Local inflammation is attenuated below high thoracic SCI, where innervation of major lymphoid organs is involved. However, whether inflammatory responses are affected after low thoracic SCI, remains undetermined. The aim of this study was to characterize the influence of low thoracic SCI on carrageenan-induced paw swelling in intact and paralyzed limbs, at acute and subacute stages. University and hospital-based research center, Mexico City, Mexico. Rats received a severe contusive SCI at T9 spinal level or sham injury. Then, 1 and 15 days after lesion, carrageenan or vehicle was subcutaneously injected in forelimb and hindlimb paws. Paw swelling was measured over a 6-h period using a plethysmometer. Swelling increased progressively reaching the maximum 6 h post-carrageenan injection. Swelling increase in sham-injured rats was approximately 130% and 70% compared with baseline values of forelimbs and hindlimbs, respectively. Paws injected with saline exhibited no measurable swelling. Carrageenan-induced paw swelling 1-day post-SCI was suppressed in both intact and paralyzed limbs. Fifteen days post-injury, the swelling response to carrageenan was completely reestablished in forelimbs, whereas in hindlimbs it remained significantly attenuated compared with sham-injured rats. SCI at low spinal level affects the induced swelling response in a different way depending on both, the neurological status of challenged regions and the stage of injury. These findings suggest that neurological compromise of the main immunological organs is not a prerequisite for the local swelling response to be affected after injury.

Dr. Guízar Gabriel