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Open Access Neural Induction With Neurogenin 1 Enhances the Therapeutic Potential of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in an Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Mouse Model

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by progressive dysfunction and degeneration of motor neurons in the central nervous system (CNS). In the absence of effective drug treatments for ALS, stem cell treatment has emerged as a candidate therapy for this disease. To date, however, there is no consensus protocol that stipulates stem cell types, transplantation timing, or frequency. Using an ALS mouse model carrying a high copy number of a mutant human superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1)G93A transgene, we investigated the effect of neural induction on the innate therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in relation to preclinical transplantation parameters. In our study, the expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) was elevated in the ALS mouse spinal cord. Neural induction of MSCs with neurogenin 1 (Ngn1) upregulated the expression level of the MCP-1 receptor, CCR2, and enhanced the migration activity toward MCP-1 in vitro. Ngn1-expressing MSCs (MSCs-Ngn1) showed a corresponding increase in tropism to the CNS after systemic transplantation in ALS mice. Notably, MSCs-Ngn1 delayed disease onset if transplanted during preonset ages, whereas unprocessed MSCs failed to do so. If transplanted near the onset ages, a single treatment with MSCs-Ngn1 was sufficient to enhance motor functions during the symptomatic period (15‐17 weeks), whereas unprocessed MSCs required repeated transplantation to achieve similar levels of motor function improvement. Our data indicate that systemically transplanted MSCs-Ngn1 can migrate to the CNS and exert beneficial effects on host neural cells for an extended period of time through paracrine functions, suggesting a potential benefit of neural induction of transplanted MSCs in long-term treatment of ALS.
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Keywords: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); Cu2+/Zn2+ superoxide dismutase; Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); Neurogenin 1 (Ngn1); Superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Anatomy, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, South Korea

Publication date: 2013-05-01

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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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