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1.  Microglial Activation in Rat Experimental Spinal Cord Injury Model 
Iranian Biomedical Journal  2013;17(4):214-220.
Background: The present study was designed to evaluate the secondary microglial activation processes after spinal cord injury (SCI). Methods: A quantitative histological study was performed to determine ED-1 positive cells, glial cell density, and cavitation size in untreated SCI rats at days 1, 2, and 4, and weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4. Results: The results of glial cell quantification along the 4900-µm long injured spinal cord showed a significant increase in glial cell density percentage at day 2 as compared to other days. Whereas the highest increase in ED-1 immunoreactive cells (monocyte/phagocyte marker in rats) was observed at day 2 (23.15%) post-injury. Evaluation of cavity percentage showed a significant difference between weeks 3 and 4 post-injury groups. Conclusions: This study provides a new insight into the multiphase immune response to SCI, including cellular inflammation, macrophages/microglia activation, glial cell density, and cavitation. Better understanding of the inflammatory processes associated with acute SCI would permit the development of better therapeutic strategies.
doi:10.6091/ibj.1213.2013
PMCID: PMC3882925  PMID: 23999718
Spinal cord injuries; Inflammation; Microglia; Macrophages
2.  Anxiety and Depression in Patients with Amputated Limbs Suffering from Phantom Pain: A Comparative Study with Non-Phantom Chronic Pain 
Background:
Phantom limb pain (PLP) is approximately a common condition after limb amputation, which potentially affects the quality of life. We aimed to evaluate anxiety and depression in patients with amputated limbs suffering from PLP and to compare these psychological dysfunctions with that of patients with non-phantom chronic pain.
Methods:
A total number of 16 male amputees with PLP and 24 male age-matched patients with non-phantom chronic pain were recruited in this study, which was performed at Khatam-Al-Anbia Pain Clinic, Tehran, Iran. A validated Persian version of the hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS) was used to compare two psychological dysfunctions – anxiety and depression – between the two groups of study.
Results:
The mean of total anxiety score was significantly lower in patients with PLP (8.00 ± 3.93 vs. 11.25 ± 5.23; P = 0.041) and the prevalence of anxiety caseness (HADS-A score ≥ 11) was also lower in the PLP group (25% vs. 58.3%; P = 0.112, power = 31.7%). The mean of total depression score was 7.69 ± 5.51 and 9.38 ± 6.11 in patients of PLP and chronic pain groups, respectively (P = 0.340, power = 15%). Consequently, the prevalence of depression caseness (HADS-D score ≥ 11) was lower in PLP patients (37.5% vs. 50%; P = 0.710, power = 8%).
Conclusion:
Our results indicate that depression and anxiety are not more common in PLP patients, whereas they are more prevalent in subjects with non-phantom chronic pain. These lower levels of anxiety and depression in PLP compared with chronic pain is a new finding that needs to be evaluated further, which may lead to new insights into the pathogenesis of phantom pain in further studies.
PMCID: PMC3604856  PMID: 23543814
Anxiety; chronic pain; depression; hospital anxiety and depression scale; phantom limb pain
3.  Improvement of Contused Spinal Cord in Rats by Cholinergic-like Neuron Therapy 
Background
Disability in spinal cord injury is an important medical problem, and cell transplantation is considered as an option for the treatment.
Objectives
The purpose of this study is to use bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) derived cholinergic neuron-like cells (CNL) in order to ameliorate the contusion model of spinal cord injury in rats.
Materials and Methods
The CNLs were produced by pre inducing BMSCs with β-mercaptoethanol (BME) followed by inducing with nerve growth factor (NGF). The cells were immunoreactive to neurofilament 200, NeuN, synaptophysin, synapsin, microtubule associated protein-2 and choline acetyl transferase (ChAT). The CNL were transplanted in contused rats (CR), which were sacrificed after 12 weeks.
Results
The results showed that BBB test showed an improvement in the CR, while the quantitative analysis showed that the improvement rate was higher in the rats treated with CNL than those treated with BMSCs only or the untreated animals, similar results were noticed in the improvement index. Immunohistochemical analysis of the tissue section prepared from the CR showed that the transplanted cells were engrafted and integrated in the traumatized spinal cord. The morphometric analysis showed that the volume density of the cavity in the CNL treated rats was significantly lower than that of the untreated ones, while the spinal tissue regeneration index was significantly higher.
Conclusions
The conclusion of the study is that CNL can improve the injured spinal cord.
doi:10.5812/ircmj.7653
PMCID: PMC3652499  PMID: 23682324
Spinal Cord Injuries; Contusions; Cholinergic Neurons; Tissue Therapy
4.  Effect of Cannabinoid Receptor Activation on Spreading Depression 
Objective(s):The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of cannabinoid on cortical spreading depression (CSD) in rat brain. Cannabis has been used for centuries for both symptomatic and prophylactic treatment of different types of headaches including migraine. CSD is believed to be a putative neuronal mechanism underlying migraine aura and subsequent pain.
Materials and Methods:The effects of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as well as, cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists on CSD in rat neocortical slices were investigated. Furthermore, the effect of cannabinoid CB1 agonist was tested on field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP) and long-term potentiation (LTP).
Results:HC (1-20 microM) dose dependently suppressed CSD amplitude, duration, and propagation velocity. Cannabinoid CB1 agonist, WIN 55,212-2 mesylate (1-10 microM), also significantly suppressed all characteristic features of CSD. However, cannabinoid CB2 agonist, JWH-133 (1-20 microM), did not affect CSD. FEPSP and induction of LTP were suppressed by application of WIN55212-2.
Conclusion:Suppression of CSD by activation of CB1 receptors points to the potential therapeutic effects of cannabinoids in migraine with aura. More research is needed before we know whether cannabinoids may be helpful in treating migraine pain.
PMCID: PMC3586901  PMID: 23493641
Endocannabinoid; Headache; Marijuana; Migraine; Pharmacotherapy; Synaptic transmission
5.  Anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects of Pimpinella anisum in rat brain 
Background
Essential oil of Pimpinella anisum L. Apiaceae (anise oil) has been widely used in traditional Persian medicine to treat a variety of diseases, including some neurological disorders. This study was aimed to test the possible anti-seizure and anti-hypoxia effects of anise oil.
Methods
The effects of different concentrations of anise oil were tested on seizure attacks induced by pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) injection and neuronal hypoxia induced by oxygen withdrawal as well as on production of dark neurons and induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in in vivo and in vitro experimental models of rat brain.
Results
Anise oil significantly prolonged the latency of seizure attacks and reduced the amplitude and duration of epileptiform burst discharges induced by injection of intraperitoneal PTZ. In addition, anise oil significantly inhibited production of dark neurons in different regions of the brain in epileptic rats. Anise oil also significantly enhanced the duration of the appearance of anoxic terminal negativity induced by oxygen withdrawal and inhibited induction of LTP in hippocampal slices.
Conclusions
Our data indicate the anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects of anise oil, likely via inhibition of synaptic plasticity. Further evaluation of anise oil to use in the treatment of neurological disorders is suggested.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-76
PMCID: PMC3416669  PMID: 22709243
Cephalic pain; Stroke; Brain ischemia; Medical plants; Traditional therapy

Results 1-5 (5)