Sustained induction of heme oxygenase-1 in the traumatized spinal cord

Angelika E M Mautes, Marcelle Bergeron, Frank R Sharp, S. Scott Panter, Martin Weinzierl, Karen Guenther, Linda J. Noble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Oxidative stress contributes to secondary injury after spinal cord trauma. Among the consequences of oxidative stress is the induction of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), an inducible isozyme that metabolizes heme to iron, biliverdin, and carbon monoxide. Here we examine the induction of HO-1 in the hemisected spinal cord, a model that results in reproducible degeneration in the ipsilateral white matter. HO-1 was induced in microglia and macrophages from 24 h to at least 42 days after injury. Within the first week after injury, HO-1 was induced in both the gray and the white matter. Thereafter, HO-1 expression was limited to degenerating fiber tracts. HSP70, a heat shock protein induced mainly by the presence of denatured proteins, was consistently colocalized with HO-1 in the microglia and macrophages. This study to demonstrates long-term induction of HO-1 and HSP70 in microglia and macrophages after traumatic injury and an association between induction of HO-1 and Wallerian degeneration. White matter degeneration is characterized by phagocytosis of cellular debris and remodeling of surviving tissue. This results in the metabolism, synthesis, and turnover of heme and heme proteins. Thus, sustained induction of HO-1 and HSP70 in microglia and macrophages suggests that tissue degeneration is an ongoing process, lasting 6 weeks and perhaps even longer. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-265
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000


  • Astrocytes
  • Heat shock proteins
  • Heme oxygenase-1
  • HSP32
  • HSP70
  • Inflammation
  • Microglia/macrophages
  • Spinal cord hemisection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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