Total RNA from isolated L4 spinal cord tissue was extracted using TRIzol reagent (Invitrogen). Real-time qRT-PCR was performed using a 7500 Real-Time PCR system (Applied Biosystems) with oligonucleotide primers. The primer sequences are listed as Table Table1.1. The threshold cycle (Ct) of the GAPDH gene was used as a reference control to normalize the expression level of the target gene (ΔCt) to correct for experimental variation. Relative mRNA levels were calculated according to the 2−ΔΔCt method. Real-time qRT-PCR experiments were performed at least three times, and the mean ± SEM values are presented unless otherwise noted.

Primer sequences for qRT-PCR