The purpose of this study was to investigate the early effects of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) on myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, lipid peroxidation (LPO) and ultrastructural findings in rats after spinal cord injury (SCI). We also compared the effects of G-CSF and methylprednisolone sodium succinate (MPSS). Wistar rats were divided into four groups: control. SCI alone (50 g/cm weight drop trauma), SCI + MPSS (30 mg/kg), and SCI + G-CSF (50 mu g/kg). Administration of G-CSF and MPSS significantly decreased LPO (p < 0.05) and MPO activity (p < 0.05) in the first 24 hours. MPSS was more effective than G-CSF in reducing LPO (p < 0.05) and in minimizing ultrastructure changes. The results of this study indicate that G-CSF exerts a beneficial effect by decreasing MPO activity and LPO and may reduce tissue damage in the first 24 hours after SCI. Our findings do not exclude the possibility that G-CSF has a protective effect on spinal cord ultrastructure after the first 24 hours following SCI. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.