The role of autophagy in spinal cord injury

Haruo Kanno, Hiroshi Ozawa, Akira Sekiguchi, Eiji Itoi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have indicated that autophagy has an important function, not only in many neurodegenerative diseases, but also in traumatic and ischemic brain injury. However, no study has previously shown the contribution of autophagy to neural tissue damage after spinal cord injury. We recently investigated the alterations in Beclin 1 expression and the involvement of autophagy and autophagic cell death after spinal cord injury using a spinal cord hemisection model in mice. The results showed that the expression of Beclin 1 dramatically increased in the damaged neural tissue and induced autophagic cell death after a spinal cord injury. These observations suggested that the increased expression of Beclin 1 activates autophagy, while mediating a novel cell death mechanism at the lesion site in response to spinal cord injury. Here we discuss several unsolved issues and review the evidence in related articles regarding the role of autophagy and its contribution to the mechanism of cell death in spinal cord injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-392
Number of pages3
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Apr 1


  • Apoptosis
  • Autophagic cell death
  • Autophagy
  • Beclin 1
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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