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Open Access Primary Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Rescue the Axonal Phenotype of Twitcher Mice

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Krabbe’s disease (KD) is a demyelinating disorder caused by the deficiency of lysosomal galactocerebrosidase (GALC), affecting both the central (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). A current therapy, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), is ineffective at correcting the PNS pathology. We have previously shown that systemic delivery of immortalized bone marrow-derived murine mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs) diminishes the neuropathology of transplanted Twitcher mice, a murine model of KD. In this study, to move one step closer to clinical application, the effectiveness of a systematic delivery of primary BM-MSCs to promote recovery of the Twitcher PNS was assessed. Primary BM-MSCs grafted to the Twitcher sciatic nerve led to increased GALC activity that was not correlated to decreased psychosine (the toxic GALC substrate) accumulation. Nevertheless, BM-MSC transplantation rescued the axonal phenotype of Twitcher mice in the sciatic nerve, with an increased density of both myelinated and unmyelinated axons in transplanted animals. Whereas no increase in myelination was observed, upon transplantation an increased proliferation of Schwann cell precursors occurred. Supporting these findings, in vitro, BM-MSCs promoted neurite outgrowth of Twitcher sensory neurons and proliferation of Twitcher Schwann cells. Moreover, BM-MSCs expressed nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and promoted increased BDNF synthesis by neighboring Schwann cells. Besides their action in neurons and glia, BM-MSCs led to macrophage activation in Twitcher sciatic nerves. In summary, primary BM-MSCs diminish the neuropathology of Twitcher sciatic nerves by coordinately affecting neurons, glia, and macrophages.
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Keywords: Axonal degeneration; Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs); Krabbe’s disease (KD); Twitcher mice

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 14 February 2014

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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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