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Open Access An Examination of the Mechanisms by Which Neural Precursors Augment Recovery Following Spinal Cord Injury: A Key Role for Remyelination

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The mechanisms by which neural precursor cells (NPCs) enhance functional recovery from spinal cord injury (SCI) remain unclear. Spinal cord injured rats were transplanted with wild-type mouse NPCs, shiverer NPCs unable to produce myelin, dead NPCs, or media. Most animals also received minocycline, cyclosporine, and perilesional infusion of trophins. Motor function was graded according to the BBB scale. H&E/LFB staining was used to assess gray and white matter, cyst, and lesional tissue. Mature oligodendrocytes and ED1+ inflammatory cells were quantitated. Confocal and electron microscopy were used to assess the relationship between the transplanted cells and axons. Pharmacotherapy and trophin infusion preserved gray matter, white matter, and oligodendrocytes. Trophin infusion also significantly increased cyst and lesional tissue volume as well as inflammatory infiltrate, and functional recovery was reduced. Animals transplanted with wild-type NPCs showed greatest functional recovery; animals transplanted with shiverer NPCs performed the worst. Wild-type NPCs remyelinated host axons. Shiverer NPCs ensheathed axons but did not produce MBP. These results suggest that remyelination by NPCs is an important contribution to functional recovery following SCI. Shiverer NPCs may prevent remyelination by endogenous cells capable of myelin formation. These findings suggest that remyelination is an important therapeutic target following SCI.

Keywords: Mechanism; Neural precursor cells (NPCs); Remyelination; Spinal cord injury (SCI); Transplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Division of Genetics and Development, Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada

Publication date: 2014-03-21

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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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