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Open Access Interferon-β Delivery Via Human Neural Stem Cell Abates Glial Scar Formation in Spinal Cord Injury

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Glial scar formation is the major impedance to axonal regrowth after spinal cord injury (SCI), and scar-modulating treatments have become a leading therapeutic goal for SCI treatment. In this study, human neural stem cells (NSCs) encoding interferon-β (INF-β) gene were administered intravenously to mice 1 week after SCI. Animals receiving NSCs encoding IFN-β exhibited significant neurobehavioral improvement, electrophysiological recovery, suppressed glial scar formation, and preservation of nerve fibers in lesioned spinal cord. Systemic evaluation of SCI gliosis lesion site with lesion-specific microdissection, genome-wide microarray, and MetaCore pathway analysis identified upregulation of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in SCI gliosis lesion site, and this led us to focus on TLR4 signaling in reactive astrocytes. Examination of primary astrocytes from TLR4 knockout mice, and in vivo inhibition of TLR4, revealed that the effect of IFN-β on the suppression of glial scar formation in SCI requires TLR4 stimulation. These results suggest that IFN-β delivery via intravenous injection of NSCs following SCI inhibits glial scar formation in spinal cord through stimulation of TLR4 signaling.

Keywords: Human neural stem cells (NSCs); Interferon-β (INF-β) gene; Spinal cord injury (SCI); Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2013-12-23

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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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