Transplantation of vascular endothelial growth factor-modified neural stem/progenitor cells promotes the recovery of neurological function following hypoxic-ischemic brain damage.
ABSTRACT: Neural stem/progenitor cell (NSC) transplantation has been shown to effectively improve neurological function in rats with hypoxic-ischemic brain damage. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a signaling protein that stimulates angiogenesis and improves neural regeneration. We hypothesized that transplantation of VEGF-transfected NSCs would alleviate hypoxic-ischemic brain damage in neonatal rats. We produced and transfected a recombinant lentiviral vector containing the VEGF165 gene into cultured NSCs. The transfected NSCs were transplanted into the left sensorimotor cortex of rats 3 days after hypoxic-ischemic brain damage. Compared with the NSCs group, VEGF mRNA and protein expression levels were increased in the transgene NSCs group, and learning and memory abilities were significantly improved at 30 days. Furthermore, histopathological changes were alleviated in these animals. Our findings indicate that transplantation of VEGF-transfected NSCs may facilitate the recovery of neurological function, and that its therapeutic effectiveness is better than that of unmodified NSCs.
Project description:Transplantation of neural stem cells (NSCs) is a promising therapy for ischemic stroke. However, the effectiveness of this approach is limited by grafted cell death. Breast cancer susceptibility protein 1 (BRCA1) could suppress apoptosis in neural progenitors and modulate oxidative stress in neurons. In this study, we found that BRCA1 was upregulated by oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/R). Overexpression of BRCA1 in NSCs reduced cell apoptosis and oxidative stress after OGD/R insult. The molecule overexpression also stimulated cellular proliferation in OGD/R NSCs and increased the survival rate of grafted cells. Further, the transplantation of BRCA1-transfected NSCs into mice with ischemic stroke increased brain-derived neurotropic factor and nerve growth factor expression in the brain and elicited neurological function improvement. In addition, we found that RING finger domain and BRCT domain of BRCA1 could physically interact with p53 in NSCs. The cross talk between BRCA1 RING finger domain and p53 was responsible for p53 ubiquitination and degradation. Our findings indicate that modification with BRCA1 could enhance the efficacy of NSCs transplantation in ischemic stroke.
Project description:Neural stem cells (NSCs) show therapeutic potential for ischemia in young-adult animals. However, the effect of aging on NSC therapy is largely unknown. In this work, NSCs were transplanted into aged (24-month-old) and young-adult (3-month-old) rats at 1 day after stroke. Infarct volume and neurobehavioral outcomes were examined. The number of differentiated NSCs was compared in aged and young-adult ischemic rats and angiogenesis and neurogenesis were also determined. We found that aged rats developed larger infarcts than young-adult rats after ischemia (P<0.05). The neurobehavioral outcome was also worse for aged rats comparing with young-adult rats. Brain infarction and neurologic deficits were attenuated after NSC transplantation in both aged and young-adult rats. The number of survived NSCs in aged rats was similar to that of the young-adult rats (P>0.05) and most of them were differentiated into glial fibrillary acidic protein(+) (GFAP(+)) cells. More importantly, angiogenesis and neurogenesis were greatly enhanced in both aged and young-adult rats after transplantation compared with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) control (P<0.05), accompanied by increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Our results showed that NSC therapy reduced ischemic brain injury, along with increased angiogenesis and neurogenesis in aged rats, suggesting that aging-related microenvironment does not preclude a beneficial response to NSCs transplantation during cerebral ischemia.
Project description:<h4>Aim</h4>To determine whether administration of choline could attenuate brain injury in a rat model of ischemic stroke and the underlying mechanisms.<h4>Methods</h4>A rat model of ischemic stroke was established through permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO). After the surgery, the rats were treated with choline or choline plus the specific ?7 nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA), or with the control drug nimodipine for 10 days. The neurological deficits, brain-infarct volume, pial vessel density and the number of microvessels in the cortex were assessed. Rat brain microvascular endothelial cells (rBMECs) cultured under hypoxic conditions were used in in vitro experiments.<h4>Results</h4>Oral administration of choline (100 or 200 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1)) or nimodipine (20 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1)) significantly improved neurological deficits, and reduced infarct volume and nerve cell loss in the ischemic cerebral cortices in pMCAO rats. Furthermore, oral administration of choline, but not nimodipine, promoted the pial arteriogenesis and cerebral-cortical capillary angiogenesis in the ischemic regions. Moreover, oral administration of choline significantly augmented pMCAO-induced increases in the expression levels of ?7 nAChR, HIF-1? and VEGF in the ischemic cerebral cortices as well as in the serum levels of VEGF. Choline-induced protective effects were prevented by co-treatment with MLA (1 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1), ip). Treatment of rBMECs cultured under hypoxic conditions in vitro with choline (1, 10 and 100 ?mol/L) dose-dependently promoted the endothelial-cell proliferation, migration and tube formation, as well as VEGF secretion, which were prevented by co-treatment with MLA (1 ?mol/L) or by transfection with HIF-1? siRNA.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Choline effectively attenuates brain ischemic injury in pMCAO rats, possibly by facilitating pial arteriogenesis and cerebral-cortical capillary angiogenesis via upregulating ?7 nAChR levels and inducing the expression of HIF-1? and VEGF.
Project description:Hypoxic-ischemic brain damage (HIBD) is the major recognized perinatal cause of neurological morbidity in full-term new borns. Neural stem cells (NSCs) have been extensively studied because of their clinical applications in treating neuro degenerative diseases and brain injuries, including HIBD, while microRNAs (miRNAs) are deemed critical regulators of the proliferation and differentiation of NSCs. However, the role of let-7f in NSC differentiation remains unknown. Our study aims to investigate the role of let-7f in the differentiation of NSCs and brain development in rats and hence to explore the therapeutic potential of let-7f in the treatment of HIBD. The quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was applied to assess the expressions of let-7f, and western blot was performed to detect GFAP, Tuj1 and Nestin in rat brains at postnatal day 1, 8 and 14 (n=12 per time point). The NSCs isolated from the brains of rat fetuses at gestational day 15 were transduced with lenti virus expressing let-7f or let-7f inhibitor so as to observe altered expressions of let-7f, GFAP, Tuj1 and Nestin. A gradually-increasing expression of let-7f was detected by qRT-PCR in rat brain tissues during postnatal brain development. Increased levels of GFAP and Tuj1, while a decreased level of Nestin, were detected by western blot in let-7f-overexpressing NSCs. In contrast, the cells expressing the let-7f inhibitor exhibited lower levels of GFAP and Tuj1, while a higher level of Nestin, compared with control cells. Therefore, let-7f is involved in brain development and promotes the differentiation of NSCs in rats.
Project description:There is no effective strategy for the treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI), a devastating condition characterized by severe hypoxia and ischemic insults. In this study, we investigated the histology and pathophysiology of the SCI milieu in a rat model and found that areas of hypoxia were unevenly interspersed in compressed SCI. With this new knowledge, we generated embryonic neural stem cells (NSCs) expressing basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) under the regulation of five hypoxia-responsive elements (5HRE) using a lentiviral vector (LV-5HRE-bFGF-NSCs) to specifically target these hypoxic loci. SCI models treated with bFGF expressed by the LV-5HRE-bFGF-NSCs viral vector demonstrated improved recovery, increased neuronal survival, and inhibited autophagy in spinal cord lesions in the rat model due to the reversal of hypoxic conditions at day 42 after injury. Furthermore, improved functional restoration of SCI with neuron regeneration was achieved in vivo, accompanied by glial scar inhibition and the evidence of axon regeneration across the scar boundary. This is the first study to illustrate the presence of hypoxic clusters throughout the injury site of compressed SCI and the first to show that the transplantation of LV-5HRE-bFGF-NSCs to target this hypoxic microenvironment enhanced the recovery of neurological function after SCI in rats; LV-5HRE-bFGF-NSCs may therefore be a good candidate to evaluate cellular SCI therapy in humans.
Project description:BACKGROUND: This study was performed to determine whether injury induced by cerebral ischemia could be further improved by transplantation with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) modified by Survivin (SVV). METHODS: MSCs derived from bone marrow of male Sprague-Dawley rats were infected by the self-inactive lentiviral vector GCFU carrying green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene and SVV recombinant vector (GCFU-SVV). In vitro, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) were detected in infected MSCs supernatants under hypoxic conditions by ELSIA. In vivo, experiments consisted of three groups, one receiving intravenous injection of 500 ?l of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) without cells (control group) and two groups administered the same volume solution with either three million GFP-MSCs (group GFP) or SVV/GFP-MSCs (group SVV). All animals were submitted to 2-hour middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and then reperfusion. Differentiation and survival of the transplanted MSCs were determined by confocal microscope. Western blot was used to detect the expression of VEGF and bFGF in ischemic tissue. A 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining was used to assess the infarct volume. Evaluation of neurological function was performed using a modified Neurological Severity Score (mNSS). RESULTS: In vitro, modification with SVV further increased secretion of VEGF and bFGF under hypoxic condition. In vivo, only very few transplantated cells co-expressed GFP and NeuN. The survival transplanted cells in the group SVV was 1.3-fold at 4 days after transplantation and 3.4-fold higher at 14 days after transplantation, respectively, when compared with group GFP. Expression of VEGF and bFGF in the ischemic tissue were further up-regulated by modification with SVV. Moreover, modification with SVV further reduced the cerebral infarct volume by 5.2% at 4 days after stroke and improved post-stroke neurological function at 14 days after transplantation. CONCLUSION: Modification with SVV could further enhance the therapeutic effects of MSCs possibly through improving the MSCs survival capacity and up-regulating the expression of protective cytokines in the ischemic tissue.
Project description:Neural stem cells are characterized by the ability to differentiate and stably express exogenous ge-nes. Vascular endothelial growth factor plays a role in protecting local blood vessels and neurons of newborn rats with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Transplantation of vascular endothelial growth factor-transfected neural stem cells may be neuroprotective in rats with cerebral palsy. In this study, 7-day-old Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into five groups: (1) sham operation (control), (2) cerebral palsy model alone or with (3) phosphate-buffered saline, (4) vascular endothelial growth factor 165 + neural stem cells, or (5) neural stem cells alone. The cerebral palsy model was established by ligating the left common carotid artery followed by exposure to hypoxia. Phosphate-buffered saline, vascular endothelial growth factor + neural stem cells, and neural stem cells alone were administered into the sensorimotor cortex using the stereotaxic instrument and microsyringe. After transplantation, the radial-arm water maze test and holding test were performed. Immunohistochemistry for vascular endothelial growth factor and histology using hematoxylin-eosin were performed on cerebral cortex. Results revealed that the number of vascular endothelial growth factor-positive cells in cerebral palsy rats transplanted with vascular endothelial growth factor-transfected neural stem cells was increased, the time for finding water and the finding repetitions were reduced, the holding time was prolonged, and the degree of cell degeneration or necrosis was reduced. These findings indicate that the transplantation of vascular endothelial growth factor-transfected neural stem cells alleviates brain damage and cognitive deficits, and is neuroprotective in neonatal rats with hypoxia ischemic-mediated cerebral palsy.
Project description:Promoting regenerative repair, including neurogenesis and angiogenesis, may provide a new therapeutic strategy for treatment of stroke. P53, a well-documented transcription factor, has been reported to be involved in cerebral ischemia and also serves as an important regulator of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). However, the role of p53 in endogenous regenerative repair after brain ischemia is poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the effects of PFT-α, a specific p53 inhibitor on neurogenesis and angiogenesis improvement and associated signal pathways in rats impaired by cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). PFT-α induced neuroprotection, reduced infarct volume and neurological functional impairment after ischemic stroke. More importantly, neurogenesis and angiogenesis were greatly enhanced by PFT-α, and accompanied by increased expression of VEGF. Moreover, we got consistent results in neural stem cells (NSCs) isolated from fetal rats. In contrast, application of the anti-VEGF neutralizing antibody (RB-222) partially reversed PFT-α-induced neuroprotection and rescued p53 expression. Noteworthily, inhibition of p53 after ischemic stroke in these rats improved their outcomes via promotion of regenerative repair. In conclusion, PFT-α could serve as a promising therapeutic strategy for ischemic stroke by promoting regenerative repair.
Project description:BACKGROUND Spinal cord injury (SCI) causes a rapid loss of motor neurons, leading to weakness and paralysis. Transplantation of neural stem cells is known to restore the neuronal activity but is inefficient due to limited regenerative capability and low rate of survival. There has been an emphasis on the use of growth factors along with neural stem cells (NSCs) to enhance the neuronal recovery. Transplantation of recombinant NSCs with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) might promote neuronal repair. This effect might be attributed to the reduced transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) expression following transplantation. MATERIAL AND METHODS NSCs were cultured from the embryos of Sprague-Dawley rats (E12.5). Four group of rats (n=10, each) were subjected to SCI and allowed to recover for 1 week. Recombinant VEGF-NSCs, normal NSCs and PBS were intrathecally administered to the rats. VEGF and TRPV-1 expression at mRNA and protein level was evaluated. ELISA was performed to determine the release of neurotrophic factors after the transplantation. Motor neurons and axons were counted and the motor behavioral outcome was assessed using the rota-rod test. RESULTS VEGF-NSC transgene transplantation resulted in an enhanced neuronal repair and motor behavioral outcome compared to the normal NSCs transplanted group. VEGF-NSCs increased the release of neurotrophic factors and reduced the expression of TRPV1. CONCLUSIONS Recombinant VEGF-NSCs transplantation following SCI is more efficacious compared to normal NSC transplantation. This might also be related to a reduced pain in the process of recovery due to reduced TRPV1 expression.
Project description:Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is a serious neurological disease, often resulting in long-term neurodevelopmental disorders among surviving children. However, whether these neurodevelopmental issues can be passed to offspring remains unclear. The right common carotid artery of 7-day-old parental-generation rats was subjected to permanent ligation using a vessel electrocoagulator. Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic rat models were established by subjecting the rats to 8% O2-92% N2 for 2 hours. The results showed that 24 hours after hypoxia and ischemia, pathological damage, cerebral atrophy, liquefaction, and impairment were found, and Zea-Longa scores were significantly increased. The parental-generation rats were propagated at 3 months old, and offspring were obtained. No changes in the overall brain structures of these offspring rats were identified by magnetic resonance imaging. However, the escape latency was longer and the number of platform crossings was reduced among these offspring compared with normal rats. These results indicated that the offspring of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy model rats displayed cognitive impairments in learning and memory. This study was approved by the Animal Care & Welfare Committee of Kunming Medical University, China in 2018 (approval No. kmmu2019072).