Effects of Growth Hormone Treatment and Rehabilitation in Incomplete Chronic Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: Insight from Proteome Analysis

Tatiana Martin-Rojas, Tamara Sastre-Oliva, Ana Esclarín-Ruz, Felix Gil-Dones, Laura Mourino-Alvarez, Nerea Corbacho-Alonso, Rafael Moreno-Luna, German Hernandez-Fernandez, Juan Antonio Lopez, Antonio Oliviero, María G Barderas
Journal of Personalized Medicine 2020 October 21, 10 (4)
Despite promising advances in the medical management of spinal cord injury (SCI), there is still no available effective therapy to repair the neurological damage in patients who experience this life-transforming condition. Recently, we performed a phase II/III placebo-controlled randomized trial of safety and efficacy of growth hormone (GH) treatment in incomplete chronic traumatic spinal cord injury. The main findings were that the combined treatment of GH plus rehabilitation treatment is feasible and safe, and that GH but not placebo slightly improves the SCI individual motor score. Moreover, we found that an intensive and long-lasting rehabilitation program per se increases the functional outcome of SCI individuals. To understand the possible mechanisms of the improvement due to GH treatment (motor score) and due to rehabilitation (functional outcome), we used a proteomic approach. Here, we used a multiple proteomic strategy to search for recovery biomarkers in blood plasma with the potential to predict response to somatropin treatment and to delayed intensive rehabilitation. Forty-six patients were recruited and followed for a minimum period of 1 year. Patients were classified into two groups based on their treatment: recombinant somatropin (0.4 mg) or placebo. Both groups received rehabilitation treatment. Our strategy allowed us to perform one of the deepest plasma proteomic analyses thus far, which revealed two proteomic signatures with predictive value: (i) response to recombinant somatropin treatment and (ii) response to rehabilitation. The proteins implicated in these signatures are related to homeostasis, inflammation, and coagulation functions. These findings open novel possibilities to assess and therapeutically manage patients with SCI, which could have a positive impact on their clinical response.

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