2011 年 32 巻 1 号 p. 1-7
Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a component of propolis, which is a substance taken from the hives of honeybees, and is known to exhibit an anti-inflammatory activity. Such activity has been thought to be partly based on its potential and specific inhibitory activities toward nuclear factor-κB, a transcription factor. Therefore, in the present study, we evaluated the effect of CAPE on functional locomotor recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI) caused by hemi-transection, because inflammatory responses are a major cause of the secondary injury observed following SCI and play a pivotal role in regulating the pathogenesis of acute and chronic SCI. When CAPE was i.p.-administered at a dosage of 10 μmol/kg, it enhanced the recovery of locomotor function and reduced the lesion size while suppressing the expression of the mRNAs for a pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β and the inflammatory enzymes, inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2. These results suggest CAPE to be a promising therapeutic tool for reducing the secondary neuronal damage following primary physical injury to the spinal cord.