Acute effects of methylprednisolone sodium succinate on spinal reflexes

Edward D. Hall, Thomas Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The acute effects of single intravenous doses of methylprednisolone sodium succinate (30, 60, or 90 mg/kg) on segmental spinal cord function were examined by stimulating the triceps surae nerves and recording the monosynaptic (2N) and polysynaptic discharges at ventral root L7. Five to ten seconds after injection, an intense but short-lived, spontaneous discharge concomitant with a dose-related reduction in the stimulus-evoked 2N response occurred. This was rapidly followed by enhancement in the 2N discharge amplitude which peaked by 45 s after administration. The duration of the 2N increase was 10 to 60 min. Polysynaptic discharge was augmented to a lesser extent and for a shorter time. The reflex enhancement was reproducible in preparations in which the distally transected dorsal roots were stimulated. All drug-induced responses were prevented by preadministration of 2.5 to 10.0 mg/kg Na pentobarbital i.v. These results indicate that i.v. glucocorticoid enhances mainly monosynaptic transmission perhaps by an action on the primary afferent terminals which augments their spontaneous and evoked transmitter release. Furthermore, they provide additional support for the view that the beneficial effects of glucocorticoids in central nervous system trauma and stroke may in part reflect an improved synaptic function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-484
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1979

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Abbreviation: 2N-monosynaptic. 1 This research was supported by National Institutes of Health grants 5-ROl-NS-01447 and 5-S07-RR05396-15. A preliminary account was presented at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Atlantic City, New Jersey in April, 1978. Dr. Hall’s present address and where all correspondence should be sent is Program in Pharmacology, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown, Ohio 44272.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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