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Open Access Environmental Enrichment Synergistically Improves Functional Recovery by Transplanted Adipose Stem Cells in Chronic Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury

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We investigated the effects of environmental enrichment (EE) on the function of transplanted adipose stem cells (ASCs) and the combined effect of EE and ASC transplantation on neurobehavioral function in an animal model of chronic hypoxic-ischemic (HI) brain injury. HI brain damage was induced in 7-day-old mice by unilateral carotid artery ligation and exposure to hypoxia (8% O2 for 90 min). At 6 weeks of age, the mice were randomly injected with either ASCs or PBS into the striatum and were randomly assigned to either EE or standard cages (SC), comprising ASC-EE (n=18), ASC-SC (n=19), PBS-EE (n=12), PBS-SC (n=17), and untreated controls (n=23). Rotarod, forelimb-use asymmetry, and grip strength tests were performed to evaluate neurobehavioral function. The fate of transplanted cells and the levels of endogenous neurogenesis, astrocyte activation, and paracrine factors were also measured. As a result, EE and ASC transplantation synergistically improved rotarod latency, forelimb-use asymmetry, and grip strength compared to those of the other groups. The number of engrafted ASCs and βIII-tubulin+ neurons derived from the transplanted ASCs was significantly higher in mice in EE than those in SC. EE and ASC transplantation also synergistically increased BrdU+βIII-tubulin+ neurons, GFAP+ astrocytic density, and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) level but not the level of CS-56+ glial scarring in the striatum. In conclusion, EE and ASC transplantation synergistically improved neurobehavioral functions. The underlying mechanisms of this synergism included enhanced repair processes such as higher engraftment of the transplanted ASCs, increased endogenous neurogenesis and astrocytic activation coupled with upregulation of FGF2.
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Keywords: Adipose stem cells (ASCs); Astrocyte; Cell transplantation; Environmental enrichment (EE); Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2); Neurogenesis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department and Research Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Publication date: 2013-09-11

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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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