Author(s): Chen J, Zhang Z, Liu J, Zhou R, Zheng X,
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Abstract Therapy using scaffolds seeded with stem cells plays an important role in repair of spinal cord injury (SCI), with the transplanted cells differentiating into nerve cells to replace the lost tissue while releasing neurotrophic factors that contribute to repair following SCI and enhance the function of the damaged nervous system. The present study investigated the ability to extend the survival time of bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) to restore the damaged spinal cord and improve functional recovery by grafting acellular spinal cord (ASC) scaffold seeded or not with BMSCs in a rat model of acute hemisected SCI. BBB scores revealed that treatment with BMSCs seeded into ASC scaffold led to an obvious improvement in motor function recovery compared with treatment with ASC scaffold alone or untreated controls. This improvement was evident at 2 and 8 weeks after surgery (P < 0.05). When BMSCs labeled with 5-bromodeoxyuridine were implanted together with ASC scaffold into the injured sites, they differentiated into glial cells, and some BMSCs could be observed within the graft by immunofluorescent staining at 8 weeks after implantation. Evaluation of caspase-3 activation suggested that the graft group was able to reduce apoptosis compared with SCI alone at 8 weeks after operation (P < 0.05). This study suggests that ASC scaffolds have the ability to enhance BMSC survival and improve differentiation and could also reduce native damaged nerve tissue apoptosis, thus protecting host tissue as well as improving functional recovery after implantation. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
This article was published in J Neurosci Res
and referenced in Advances in Robotics & Automation