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Intrathecal Spinal Progenitor Cell Transplantation for the Treatment of Neuropathic Pain

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Injury to, or dysfunction of, the nervous system can lead to spontaneous pain, hyperalgesia, and/or allodynia. It is believed that the number and activity of GABAergic neurons gradually decreases over the dorsal horn. Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) immunocompetence has been demonstrated on spinal progenitor cells (SPCs) cultivated in vitro. The intrathecal implantation of these cultivated progenitor cells may provide a means of alleviating neuropathic pain. Chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve was used to induce chronic neuropathic pain in the hind paw of rats. SPCs (1 × 106) were implanted intrathecally on the third day after the CCI surgery. The behavioral response to thermal hyperalgesia was observed and recorded during the 14 days postsurgery. Various techniques were utilized to trace the progenitor cells, confirm the differentiation, and identify the neurotransmitters involved. GAD immunoactivity was revealed for 65% of the cultivated spinal progenitor cells in our study. We also determined that transplanted cells could survive more than 3 weeks postintrathecal implantation. Significant reductions were demonstrated for responses to thermal stimuli for the CCI rats that had received intrathecal SPC transplantation. A novel intrathecal delivery with SPCs reduced CCI-induced neuropathic pain.

Keywords: Chronic constrict; Key words: Cell transplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: †Department of Biological Sciences Department, National Sun-Yat Sen University, Taiwan 2: *Department of Anesthesiology, Anesthesiology Research Laboratory, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital 833, Taiwan

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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