Protection of the Vascular System by Polyethylene Glycol Reduces Secondary Injury Following Spinal Cord Injury in Rats

Jinseung Lee, Suk Chan Hahm, Heayeon Yoo, Young Wook Yoon, Junesun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background:: Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is a hydrophilic polymer, which has been known to have a neuroprotective effect by sealing the ruptured cell membrane, but PEG effects on the vascular systems and its underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we showed the neuroprotective effect of PEG by preventing damage to the vascular system. Methods:: A spinal contusion was made at the T11 segment in male Sprague–Dawley rats. PEG was injected into the subdural space immediately after SCI. Vascular permeability was assessed for 24 h after SCI using intraperitoneally injected Evans blue dye. Junctional complexes were stained with CD31 and ZO-1. Infarct size was analyzed using triphenyltetrazolium chloride, and blood vessels were counted in the epicenter. Behavioral tests for motor and sensory function were performed for 6 weeks. And then the tissue-sparing area was assessed. Results:: Immediately applied PEG significantly reduced the vascular permeability at 6, 12, and 24 h after SCI when it compared to saline, and infarct size was also reduced at 0, 6, and 24 h after SCI. In addition, a great number of blood vessels were observed in PEG group at 6 and 24 h after SCI compared to those of the saline group. The PEG group also showed a significant improvement in motor function. And tissue-sparing areas in the PEG were greater than those of the saline group. Conclusion:: The present results provide preclinical evidence for the neuroprotective effects of PEG as a promising therapeutic agent for reducing secondary injury following SCI through vascular protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1191-1204
Number of pages14
JournalTissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Korean Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society.


  • Polyethylene glycol
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Vascular system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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