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Open Access Encapsulation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells by Bioscaffolds Protects Cell Survival and Attenuates Neuroinflammatory Reaction in Injured Brain Tissue After Transplantation

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Since the brain is naturally inefficient in regenerating functional tissue after injury or disease, novel restorative strategies including stem cell transplantation and tissue engineering have to be considered. We have investigated the use of such strategies in order to achieve better functional repair outcomes. One of the fundamental challenges of successful transplantation is the delivery of cells to the injured site while maintaining cell viability. Classical cell delivery methods of intravenous or intraparenchymal injections are plagued by low engraftment and poor survival of transplanted stem cells. Novel implantable devices such as 3D bioactive scaffolds can provide the physical and metabolic support required for successful progenitor cell engraftment, proliferation, and maturation. In this study, we performed in situ analysis of laminin-linked dextran and gelatin macroporous scaffolds. We revealed the protective action of gelatin‐laminin (GL) scaffolds seeded with mesenchymal stem cells derived from donated human Wharton’s jelly (hUCMSCs) against neuroinflammatory reactions of injured mammalian brain tissue. These bioscaffolds have been implanted into (i) intact and (ii) ischemic rat hippocampal organotypic slices and into the striatum of (iii) normal and (iv) focally injured brains of adult Wistar rats. We found that transplantation of hUCMSCs encapsulated in GL scaffolds had a significant impact on the prevention of glial scar formation (low glial acidic fibrillary protein) and in the reduction of neuroinflammation (low interleukin-6 and the microglial markers ED1 and Iba1) in the recipient tissue. Moreover, implantation of hUCMSCs encapsulated within GL scaffolds induced matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9 proteolytic activities in the surrounding brain tissue. This facilitated scaffold biodegradation while leaving the remaining grafted hUCMSCs untouched. In conclusion, transplanting GL scaffolds preseeded with hUCMSCs into mammalian brain tissue escaped the host’s immune system and protected neural tissue from neuroinflammatory injury. This manuscript is published as part of the International Association of Neurorestoratology (IANR) supplement issue of Cell Transplantation.

Keywords: Bioactive scaffolds; Brain injury; Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs); Stem cell niche; Tissue engineering

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 17, 2013

More about this publication?
  • 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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