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Analysis of Allogeneic and Syngeneic Bone Marrow Stromal Cell Graft Survival in the Spinal Cord

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Bone marrow stromal cells (MSC) are attractive candidates for developing cell therapies for central nervous system (CNS) disorders. They can be easily obtained, expanded in culture, and promote modest functional recovery following transplantation into animal models of injured or degenerative CNS. While syngeneic MSC grafts can be used efficiently, achieving long-term survival of allogeneic MSC grafts has been a challenge. We hypothesize that improved graft survival will enhance the functional recovery promoted by MSC. To improve MSC graft survival, we tested two dosages of the immune suppressant cyclosporin A (CsA) in an allogeneic model. Syngeneic transplantation of MSC where cells survive well without immune suppression was used as a control. Sprague-Dawley rats treated with standard dose (n = 12) or high-dose (n = 12) CsA served as allogeneic hosts; Fisher 344 rats (n = 12) served as syngeneic hosts. MSC were derived from transgenic Fisher 344 rats expressing human placental alkaline phosphatase and were grafted into cervical spinal cord. Animals treated with standard dose CsA showed significant decreases in allograft size 4 weeks posttransplantation; high CsA doses yielded significantly better graft survival 4 and 8 weeks posttransplantation compared to standard CsA. As expected, syngeneic MSC transplants showed good graft survival after 4 and 8 weeks. To investigate MSC graft elimination, we analyzed immune cell infiltration and cell death. Macrophage infiltration was high after 1 week in all groups. After 4 weeks, high-dose CsA and syngeneic animals showed significant reductions in macrophages at the graft site. Few T lymphocytes were detected in any group at each time point. Cell death occurred throughout the study; however, little apoptotic activity was detected. Histochemical analysis revealed no evidence of neural differentiation. These results indicate that allogeneic transplantation with appropriate immune suppression permits long-term survival of MSC; thus, both allogeneic and syngeneic strategies could be utilized in devising novel therapies for CNS injury.
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Keywords: Allograft; Autologous grafting; Cell therapy; Immune response; Immune suppression; Transplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Publication date: 2005-10-01

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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.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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