Clinically effective drug treatments for spinal cord injury (SCI) remain unavailable. Agmatine, an NMDA receptor antagonist and inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), is an endogenous neuromodulator found in the brain and spinal cord. Evidence is presented that agmatine significantly improves locomotor function and reduces tissue damage following traumatic SCI in rats. The results suggest the importance of future therapeutic strategies encompassing the use of single drugs with multiple targets for the treatment of acute SCI. The therapeutic targets of agmatine (NMDA receptor and NOS) have been shown to be critically linked to the pathophysiological sequelae of CNS injury and this, combined with the non-toxic profile, lends support to agmatine being considered as a potential candidate for future clinical applications. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
- Locomotor function
- Nitric oxide