This study aimed to determine the potential of purified (Stro-1+) human mesenchymal precursor cells (hMPCs) to repair the injured spinal cord (SC) after transplantation into T-cell-deficient athymic RNU nude rats following acute moderate contusive spinal cord injury (SCI).
hMPCs were isolated from the bone marrow (BM) stroma of SCI patients and transplanted as a suspension graft in medium [with or without immunosuppression using cyclosporin A (CsA)]. Extensive anatomical analysis shows statistically significant improvement in functional recovery, tissue sparing,
and cyst reduction. We provide quantitative assessment of supraspinal projections in combination with functional outcomes. hMPC-transplanted animals consistently achieved mean BBB scores of 15 at 8 weeks post injury. Quantitative histological staining revealed that graft-recipient animals
possessed more intact spinal tissue and reduced cyst formation than controls. Fluorogold (FG) retrograde tracing revealed sparing/regeneration of supraspinal and local propriospinal axonal pathways, but no statistical differences were observed compared to controls. Immunohistochemical analysis
revealed increased serotonergic (5-HT) and sensory (CGRP) axonal growth within and surrounding transplanted donor hMPCs 2 weeks posttransplantation, but no evidence of hMPC transdifferentiation was seen. Although hMPCs initially survive at 2 weeks posttransplantation, their numbers were dramatically
reduced and no cells were detected at 8 weeks posttransplantation using retroviral/lentiviral GFP labeling and a human nuclear antigen (HNA) antibody. Additional immunosuppression with CsA did not improve hMPC survival or their ability to promote tissue sparing or functional recovery. We propose
Stro-1+-selected hMPCs provide (i) a reproducible source for stem cell transplantation for SC therapy and (ii) a positive host microenvironment resulting in the promotion of tissue sparing/repair that subsequently improves behavioral outcomes after SCI. Our results provide a new
candidate for consideration as a stem cell therapy for the repair of traumatic CNS injury.
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No Supplementary Data.
Spinal cord (SC);
Document Type: Research Article
Eileen Bond Spinal Cord Research Laboratory, School of Anatomy and Human Biology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia
Publication date: 2013-03-01
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