PMID: Neurochem Int. 2021 09 ;148:105105. Epub 2021 Jun 17. PMID: 34147513 Abstract Title: The neuroprotective role of morroniside against spinal cord injury in female rats. Abstract: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a disabling condition that often leads to permanent neurological deficits without an effective treatment. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced during oxidative stress play a vital role in the pathogenesis following SCI. The antioxidant morroniside is the main active component of the Chinese medicine Cornus officinalis. In recent years, it has been reported that morroniside has therapeutic effects on damage to multiple organs mediated by oxidative damage, but the effect of morroniside on SCI has not been reported. The purpose of this study was therefore to assess the therapeutic effect of morroniside on SCI, and to identify its underlying mechanism by direct intragastric administration immediately after SCI. Our study showed that morroniside treatment improved the functional recovery of rats following SCI. This behavioral improvement was associated with the higher survival in neurons and oligodendrocytes following SCI, which increased the capacity of injured spinal cord (SC) to form myelin and repair tissue, eventually contributing to improved neurological outcome. Furthermore, our study found that oxygen free radicals increased and antioxidant enzyme activity decreased in the injured SC. Interestingly, morroniside treatment decreased oxygen free radical levels and increased antioxidant enzyme activities. Together, our results suggested that morroniside may be an effective treatment for improving outcomes following SCI, and that its antioxidant activity may be one of the mechanisms by which morroniside exerts neuroprotective effects on SCI.