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Open Access Bone Marrow Stromal Cell-Mediated Tissue Sparing Enhances Functional Repair After Spinal Cord Contusion in Adult Rats

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Abstract:

Bone marrow stromal cell (BMSC) transplantation has shown promise for repair of the spinal cord. We showed earlier that a BMSC transplant limits the loss of spinal nervous tissue after a contusive injury. Here, we addressed the premise that BMSC-mediated tissue sparing underlies functional recovery in adult rats after a contusion of the thoracic spinal cord. Our results reveal that after 2 months BMSCs had elicited a significant increase in spared tissue volumes and in blood vessel density in the contusion epicenter. A strong functional relationship existed between spared tissue volumes and blood vessel density. BMSC-transplanted rats exhibited significant improvements in motor, sensorimotor, and sensory functions, which were strongly correlated with spared tissue volumes. Retrograde tracing revealed that rats with BMSCs had twice as many descending brainstem neurons with an axon projecting beyond the contused spinal cord segment and these correlated strongly with the improved motor/sensorimotor functions but not sensory functions. Together, our data indicate that tissue sparing greatly contributes to BMSC-mediated functional repair after spinal cord contusion. The preservation/formation of blood vessels and sparing/regeneration of descending brainstem axons may be important mediators of the BMSC-mediated anatomical and functional improvements.

Keywords: Allodynia; Bone marrow stromal cell (BMSC); Gridwalk; Locomotion; Neuroprotection; Transplantation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/096368912X640484

Affiliations: Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Publication date: 2012-07-01

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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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