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Neuroprotective effects of almond skins in experimental spinal cord injury.

Mandalari, G., T. Genovese, C. Bisignano, E. Mazzon, M.S.J. Wickham, R. Di Paola, G. Bisignano, S. Cuzzocrea, 2011. Neuroprotective effects of almond skins in experimental spinal cord injury. Clinical Nutrition 30:221-233.

Background & Aims: Functional deficits following spinal cord injury (SCI) arise from both mechanical injury and from secondary tissue reactions involving inflammation. Natural almond skins (NS) were tested to evaluate anti-inflammatory effects on an animal model of SCI. Methods: SCI was induced by the application of vascular clips to the dura via a four-level T5-T8 laminectomy. In the present study, to elucidate whether the protective effects of NS are related to the total phenolic content, we also investigated the effect of a blanched (BS) almond skins (industrially obtained by removing bran from the nut) in SCI. NS and BS (30 mg/kg respectively) were administered per os, 1 h and 6 h, after SCI. Results: SCI in mice resulted in severe injury characterized by edema, tissue damage, production of inflammatory mediators and apoptosis (measured by Bax, Bcl-2 and Tunel assay). NS treatment, 1 and 6 h after SCI, reduced all parameters of inflammation as neutrophil infiltration, NF-κB activation, PAR formation, iNOS expression and apoptosis. However, treatment with BS did not exert any protective effect. Conclusions: Our results suggest that NS treatment, reducing the development of inflammation and tissue injury, may be useful in the treatment of SCI.