Regulation of Proteases after Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury is a major medical problem worldwide. Unfortunately, we still do not have suitable therapeutic agents for the treatment of spinal cord injury and prevention of its devastating consequences. Scientists and physicians are baffled by the challenges of controlling progressive neurodegeneration in spinal cord injury, which has not been healed with any currently-available treatments. Although extensive work has been carried out to better understand the pathophysiology of spinal cord injury, our current understanding of the repair mechanisms of secondary injury processes is still meager. Several investigators reported the crucial role played by various proteases after spinal cord injury. Understanding the beneficial and harmful roles these proteases play after spinal cord injury will allow scientists to plan and design appropriate treatment strategies to improve functional recovery after spinal cord injury. This review will focus on various proteases such as matrix metalloproteinases, cysteine proteases, and serine proteases and their inhibitors in the context of spinal cord injury.