Gender differences in spinal cord injury are not estrogen-dependent

Karin R. Swartz, Dominic B. Fee, Kelly M. Joy, Kelly N. Roberts, Sophie Sun, Nicole N. Scheff, Melinda E. Wilson, Stephen W. Scheff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Recent attention has been given to gender differences in neurotraunia, and the anecdotal suggestion is that females have better outcomes than males, suggesting that circulating levels of estrogen (E2) may be neuroprotective. In order to address this issue, both young adult male and ovariec-tomized female rats were subjected to a T10 spinal cord injury (SCI), and E2 levels were maintained at chronic, constant circulating levels. Animals were clinically evaluated for locomotor changes using the Basso-Beattie- Bresnahan (BBB) scoring system. Morphologic differences were evaluated with unbiased stereology. Data analysis failed to reveal any significant benefit for the E2 therapy in either males or females. We did find a non-estrogen-dependent difference between male and female rats in length of injury, and percent of spared tissue, with female outcomes more favorable. These results suggest that E2 does not provide a viable therapy following SCI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-480
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Estrogen
  • Gender
  • Neuroprotection
  • Neurotrauma
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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