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Open Access Sciatic Nerve Regeneration by Cocultured Schwann Cells and Stem Cells on Microporous Nerve Conduits

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Cell transplantation is a useful therapy for treating peripheral nerve injuries. The clinical use of Schwann cells (SCs), however, is limited because of their limited availability. An emerging solution to promote nerve regeneration is to apply injured nerves with stem cells derived from various tissues. In this study, different types of allogeneic cells including SCs, adipose-derived adult stem cells (ASCs), dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs), and the combination of SCs with ASCs or DPSCs were seeded on nerve conduits to test their efficacy in repairing a 15-mm-long critical gap defect of rat sciatic nerve. The regeneration capacity and functional recovery were evaluated by the histological staining, electrophysiology, walking track, and functional gait analysis after 8 weeks of implantation. An in vitro study was also performed to verify if the combination of cells led to synergistic neurotrophic effects (NGF, BDNF, and GDNF). Experimental rats receiving conduits seeded with a combination of SCs and ASCs had the greatest functional recovery, as evaluated by the walking track, functional gait, nerve conduction velocity (NCV), and histological analysis. Conduits seeded with cells were always superior to the blank conduits without cells. Regarding NCV and the number of blood vessels, conduits seeded with SCs and DPSCs exhibited better values than those seeded with DPSCs only. Results from the in vitro study confirmed the synergistic NGF production from the coculture of SCs and ASCs. It was concluded that coculture of SCs with ASCs or DPSCs in a conduit promoted peripheral nerve regeneration over a critical gap defect.
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Keywords: Adipose-derived adult stem cells (ASCs); Conduits; Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs); Nerve regeneration; Peripheral nerve injury; Schwann cells (SCs)

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-11-05

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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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