Induction of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in the contused spinal cord of the rat

A. E M Mautes, Dong H. Kim, Frank R Sharp, Scott Panter, Motoki Sato, Nino Maida, Marcelle Bergeron, Karen Guenther, L. J. Noble

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52 Scopus citations


The induction of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) was studied in intact spinal cords and injured spinal cords after a moderate, thoracic contusion injury. HO-1 was immunolocalized in the normal cord and along the axis of the cord at 1, 2, 3 and 4 days after contusion. Induction of this enzyme in astrocytes and microglia/macrophages was evaluated using immunofluorescent double labeling with monoclonal antibodies to HO-1 and either glial fibrillary acidic protein or the complement C3bi receptor. HO-1 was expressed in neurons in the normal spinal cord. After contusion, HO-1 was induced in both gray and white matter at the impact site. In segments of cord that were 1 cm proximal or distal to the injury, HO-1 was primarily induced in the dorsal columns and occasionally in the lateral white matter. This pattern of induction was noted at all time points. The HO-1 was induced primarily in microglia/macrophages. The distribution of the HO-1 positive cells closely correlated with the pattern of intraparenchymal hemorrhage. These findings demonstrate acute induction of HO-1 in non-neuronal cells in the injured spinal cord. Induction of HO-1 in glia may be a consequence of multiple factors including exposure to heme proteins, hypoxia and oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 8 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Contusion injury
  • Heat shock protein
  • Heme oxygenase
  • Macrophage
  • Microglia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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