Increased neurosteroids synthesis after brain and spinal cord injury in rats

F. Di Michele, D. Lekieffre, A. Pasini, G. Bernardi, J. Benavides, E. Romeo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We studied the effect of brain and spinal cord injury induced by fluid-percussion on the local synthesis of neurosteroids as measured by a gas-chromatographic/mass-spectrometric method. In the nervous system of sham operated rats i.v. infusion of pregnenolone (PREGN)-sulfate results in a 2-4 fold increase in PREGN, progesterone (PROG), 5alpha-dehydroprogesterone (5α-DHP) and 3alpha-hydroxy-5alpha-pregnan-20-one (3α5α-THP, allopregnanolone) concentrations, as compared to vehicle treated rats. When PREGN-sulfate was infused 1, 3 or 7 days after brain or spinal cord injury it was observed a large time-dependent increase of PROG, 5α-DHP and 3α5α-THP levels in the peri-focal but not in the focal site. This increase in neurosteroids content may be due essentially to the glial cells hyperplasia in the peri-focal area and to an activation of the pathways involved in the metabolism of PREGN-sulfate to PROG, 5α-DHP and 3α5α-THP. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-68
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 21 2000


  • Allopregnanolone
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Nervous system
  • Neurosteroids
  • Pregnenolone sulfate
  • Steroids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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