[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Some receptors that block axonal regeneration or promote cell death after spinal cord injury (SCI) are localized in membrane rafts. Flotillin-2 (Flot-2) is an essential protein associated with the formation of these domains and the clustering of membranal proteins, which may have signaling activities. Our hypothesis is that trauma will change Flot-2 expression and interference of this lipid raft marker will promote functional locomotor recovery after SCI. Analyses were conducted to determine the spatiotemporal profile of Flot-2 expression in adult rats after SCI, using the MASCIS impactor device. Immunoblots showed that SCI produced a significant decrease in the level of Flot-2 at 2 days post-injury (DPI) that increased until 28 DPI. Confocal microscopy revealed Flot-2 expression in neurons, reactive astrocytes and oligodendrocytes specifically associated to myelin structures near or close to the axons of the cord. In the open field test and grid walking assays, to monitor locomotor recovery of injured rats infused intrathecally with Flot-2 antisense oligonucleotides for 28 days showed significant behavioral improvement at 14, 21 and 28 DPI. These findings suggest that Flot-2 has a role in the nonpermissive environment that blocks locomotor recovery after SCI by clustering unfavorable proteins in membrane rafts.