TABLE 3-7 Changes in Gene Expression After Spinal Cord Injury, by Stage of Injury

Gene Function

Primary Stage

Secondary Stage

Chronic Stage


Caspases, c-jun, p53, Fas, FasL, CD95, rho

Caspases, c-jun, NF-κB, HSP70


Growth and differentiation

Vimentin, TGFβ, ANIA-6

Vimentin, TGF, VGF, BDNF, TrkB (–)

Vimentin, TrkB, BMPs


IL-6, IL-1β, IGFs, SOCS, MCP-1 (IESR-JE), ICAM-1, iNOS, GFAP, IL-4r, COX-2, IL-2Rα, HSP27

IL-6, IL-1, IGFs, SOCS, MCP-1 (IESR-JE), ICAM-1, iNOS, GFAP, TNF receptor, COX-3 (–), HSP27

IL-6, IL-1β, IGFs, HSP27

Regulation of ion transport

Ca2+ ATPase (–)

Ca2+ ATPase (–), K+ channels, Na+ channels (–), Na+/K+ ATPase (–)

Ca2+ ATPase (–)

Protection of neurons


Metallothionein I and II, survival motoneuron

Metallothionein I and II

Communication between neurons

SNAP-25 (–), syntaxins (–), glutamate receptors

SNAP-25 (–), syntaxins (–), synapsins (–), somatostatin (–), GABA transporters (–), glutamate receptors, GABA receptors (–), glutamate transporter

GABA receptors

lyze changes to individual or multiple proteins have the potential to provide investigators with information about cellular responses to spinal cord injuries. For example, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry allow investigators to examine modifications to a protein’s structure that may change its activity and cellular distribution.

Protein arrays, like DNA arrays, allow researchers to screen simultaneously many proteins for changes in expression levels that result from the onset of a disease or a therapeutic approach. However, protein arrays are not as encompassing as DNA arrays. Current protein array technology only allows about 10 percent of a cell’s total proteome to be represented on an array (2,000 to 3,000 proteins can be represented on a protein array,

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