--- - |2- Abstract Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a highly severe disease and it can lead to the destruction of the motor and sensory function resulting in temporary or permanent disability. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are transcripts longer than 200 nt that play a critical role in central nervous system (CNS) injury. However, the exact roles of lncRNAs and messenger RNAs (mRNAs) in the early acute phase of SCI remain to be elucidated. We examined the expression of mRNAs and lncRNAs in a rat model at 2 days after SCI and identified the differentially expressed lncRNAs (DE lncRNAs) and differentially expressed mRNAs (DE mRNAs) using microarray analysis. Subsequently, a comprehensive bioinformatics analysis was also performed to clarify the interaction between DE mRNAs. A total of 3,193 DE lncRNAs and 4,308 DE mRNAs were identified between the injured group and control group. Classification, length distribution, and chromosomal distribution of the dysregulated lncRNAs were also performed. The gene ontology analysis and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes enrichment analysis were performed to identify the critical biological processes and pathways. A protein−protein interaction (PPI) network indicated that IL6, TOP2A, CDK1, POLE, CCNB1, TNF, CCNA2, CDC20, ITGAM, and MYC were the top 10 core genes. The subnetworks from the PPI network were identified to further elucidate the most significant functional modules of the DE mRNAs. These data may provide novel insights into the molecular mechanism of the early acute phase of SCI. The identification of lncRNAs and mRNAs may offer potential diagnostic and therapeutic targets for SCI. - Journal of Cellular Physiology, EarlyView.