Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a serious health issue that may result in high health care costs, with additional social and psychological burdens. Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatment has been found to be beneficial for neurological recovery; however, the underlying mechanisms are yet to be characterized. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanisms of HBO treatment in SCI by measuring the expression levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and Connexin43 (CX43) in the injured spinal cord tissue. An experiment animal study of rats undergoing SCI and HBO treatment. The spinal cord injury model was established in rats, which were randomly divided into the following four groups: (1) the sham-operated group (SH), (2) the sham-operated and hyperbaric oxygen treatment group (SH+HBO), (3) the spinal cord injury group (SCI), and (4) the spinal cord injury and hyperbaric oxygen treatment group (SCI+HBO). For groups of SH+HBO and SCI+HBO, the animals received 1 hour of HBO at 2.0 ATA in 100% O2 twice per day for 3 days and then daily for the following days consecutively after surgery. After operation, neurological assessments were performed, the spinal cord tissue samples were harvested for histopathological evaluation, Western blot and real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis.

Liu, Zhou, Wang, Yang, Gao, Su, , , (2014). Effect of VEGF and CX43 on the promotion of neurological recovery by hyperbaric oxygen treatment in spinal cord-injured rats. The spine journal : official journal of the North American Spine Society, 2014 Jan;14(1):119-27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24183749