The purpose of this work was to investigate whether, by intranasal administration, the nerve growth factor bypasses the blood-brain barrier and turns over the spinal cord neurons and if such therapeutic approach could be of value in the treatment of spinal cord injury. Adult Sprague-Dawley rats with intact and injured spinal cord received daily intranasal nerve growth factor administration in both nostrils for 1 day or for 3 consecutive weeks. We found an increased content of nerve growth factor and enhanced expression of nerve growth factor receptor in the spinal cord 24 hours after a single intranasal administration of nerve growth factor in healthy rats, while daily treatment for 3 weeks in a model of spinal cord injury improved the deficits in locomotor behaviour and increased spinal content of both nerve growth factor and nerve growth factor receptors. These outcomes suggest that the intranasal nerve growth factor bypasses blood-brain barrier and affects spinal cord neurons in spinal cord injury. They also suggest exploiting the possible therapeutic role of intranasally delivered nerve growth factor for the neuroprotection of damaged spinal nerve cells.
Intranasal nerve growth factor bypasses the blood-brain barrier and affects spinal cord neurons in spinal cord injury / Aloe, L1; Bianchi, P1; De Bellis, A2; Soligo, Marzia; Rocco, Ml. - In: NEURAL REGENERATION RESEARCH. - ISSN 1673-5374. - ELETTRONICO. - 9:(2014), pp. 1025-1030.