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Open Access Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells in a Three-Dimensional Gelatin Sponge Scaffold Attenuate Inflammation, Promote Angiogenesis, and Reduce Cavity Formation in Experimental Spinal Cord Injury

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Three-dimensional (3D) gelatin sponge (GS) scaffolds were constructed by ensheathing GS with a thin film of poly-(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA). Rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were isolated, cultured, and then seeded to the scaffolds. Distribution of cells and cell growth, survival, and proliferation within the scaffolds were then determined. Immunofluorescence and Western blot analysis were employed to detect the deposition of fibronectin to the scaffolds on day 3 and day 7 of culture. Scaffolds with or without MSCs were then transplanted into the transected rat spinal cord. One or 8 weeks following transplantation, cavity areas, activated macrophages/microglia, expression of TNF-α and IL-1β, and neovascularization within the grafts were examined and quantified. Deposition of fibronectin (FN) and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) as potential inducing factors for angiogenesis were also examined. Results showed that 3D GS scaffolds allowed MSCs to adhere, survive, and proliferate and also FN to deposit. In vivo transplantation experiments demonstrated that these scaffolds were biocompatible, and MSCs seeded to the scaffolds played an important role in attenuating inflammation, promoting angiogenesis, and reducing cavity formation. Therefore, the GS scaffolds with MSCs may serve as promising supporting transplants for repairing spinal cord injury.

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Keywords: Angiogenesis; Gelatin sponge; Inflammation; Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); Spinal cord injury; Tissue engineering

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Research center for Stem Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

Publication date: 2011-11-01

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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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