Author(s): Wang JM, Zeng YS, Wu JL, Li Y, Teng YD
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Abstract Effectively bridging the lesion gap is still an unmet demand for spinal cord repair. In the present study, we tested our hypothesis if cograft of Schwann cells (SCs) and neural stem cells (NSCs) with genetically enhanced expression of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and its high affinity receptor TrkC, respectively, could strengthen neural repair through increased NSC survival and neuronal differentiation at the epicenter after complete T10 spinal cord transection in adult rats. Transplantation of NT-3-SCs + TrkC-NSCs in Gelfoam (1 × 10(6)/implant/rat; n = 10) into the lesion gap immediately following injury results in significantly improved relay of the cortical motor evoked potential (CMEP) and cortical somatosensory evoked potential (CSEP) as well as ameliorated hindlimb deficits, relative to controls (treated with LacZ-SCs + LacZ-NSCs, NT-3-SCs + NSCs, NSCs alone, or lesion only; n = 10/group). Further analyses demonstrate that NT-3-SCs + TrkC-NSCs cografting augments levels of neuronal differentiation of NSCs, synaptogenesis (including inhibitory/type II-like synapses) and myelin formation of SCs, in addition to neuroprotection and outgrowth of serotonergic fibers in the lesioned spinal cord. Compared with controls, the treated spinal cords also show elevated expression of laminin, a pro-neurogenic factor, and decreased presence of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, major inhibitors of axonal growth and neuroplasticity. Together, our data suggests that coimplantation of neurologically compatible cells with compensatorily overexpressed therapeutic genes may constitute a valuable approach to study, and/or develop therapies for spinal cord injury (SCI). Published by Elsevier Ltd.
This article was published in Biomaterials
and referenced in Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering