Gabexate mesilate, a synthetic protease inhibitor, prevents compression- induced spinal cord injury by inhibiting activation of leukocytes in rats

Yuji Taoka, Kenji Okajima, Mitsuhiro Uchiba, Kazunori Murakami, Shigeki Kushimoto, Masayoshi Johno, Masakuni Naruo, Hiroaki Okabe, Kiyoshi Takatsuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Gabexate mesilate is e synthetic protease inhibitor capable of inhibiting both coagulation and cytokine production by monocytes. To investigate whether gabexate mesilate is useful for the prevention of posttraumatic spinal cord injury, we examined its effect on compression trauma-induced spinal cord injury in rats. Design: Prospective, randomized, blinded, controlled study. Setting: Research laboratory at a university medical center. Subjects: Male Wistar rats weighing 300 to 350 g. Interventions: Spinal cord injury was induced by applying e 20-g weight extradurally to the spinal cord st the level of the 12th thoracic vertebra for 20 mins. Spinal cord injury was evaluated by assessing the motor function of the rats 24 hrs posttrauma. The accumulation of leukocytes end histologic changes in the injured spinal cord tissue also were examined. Rats received gabexate mesilate (10 or 20 mg/kg ip) 30 mins before or after the compressive trauma. The effects of heparin or an inactive derivative of activated factor X (a selective inhibitor of thrombin generation) on compressive trauma- induced spinal cord injury also were examined. Leukocytopenia was induced by the administration of nitrogen mustard. Measurements and Main Results: The motor disturbances observed following traumatic spinal cord compression, evaluated by Tarlov's score, and the accumulation of leukocytes in the injured tissue, evaluated by measuring tissue myeloperoxidase activity, were markedly reduced by leukocyte depletion induced by nitrogen mustard and by pre- or posttreatment of animals with gabexate mesilate. Neither heparin nor the inactive derivative of activated factor X prevented the motor disturbances and the accumulation of leukocytes. Histologic examination demonstrated that intramedullary hemorrhages observed 24 hrs after trauma at the 12th thoracic vertebra were significantly attenuated by nitrogen mustard- induced leukocytopenia and the administration of gabexate mesilate. Conclusions: The compression trauma-induced spinal cord injury demonstrated by this model was mainly mediated by leukocytes. Gabexate mesilate prevented spinal cord injury not by inhibiting coagulation, but by inhibiting the activation of leukocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)874-879
Number of pages6
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1997 May 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Gabexate mesilate
  • Hemorrhage
  • Heparin
  • Inactive derivative of activated factor X
  • Leukocytes
  • Motor disturbances
  • Myeloperoxidase activity
  • Protease inhibitors posttraumatic spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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