Enhanced Functional Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury in Aged Mice after Stem Cell Transplantation through HGF Induction.
ABSTRACT: The number of elderly patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) is increasing worldwide, representing a serious burden for both the affected patients and the community. Previous studies have demonstrated that neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation is an effective treatment for SCI in young animals. Here we show that NSC transplantation is as effective in aged mice as it is in young mice, even though aged mice exhibit more severe neurological deficits after SCI. NSCs grafted into aged mice exhibited better survival than those grafted into young mice. Furthermore, we show that the neurotrophic factor HGF plays a key role in the enhanced functional recovery after NSC transplantation observed in aged mice with SCI. The unexpected results of the present study suggest that NSC transplantation is a potential therapeutic modality for SCI, even in elderly patients.
Project description:The number of elderly patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) is increasing worldwide, representing a serious burden for both the affected patients and the community. Previous studies have demonstrated that neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation is an effective treatment for SCI in young animals. Here we show that NSC transplantation is as effective in aged mice as it is in young mice, even though aged mice exhibit more severe neurological deficits after SCI. NSCs grafted into aged mice exhibited better survival than did those grafted into young mice. Furthermore, we show that the neurotrophic factor HGF plays a key role in the enhanced functional recovery after NSC transplantation observed in aged mice with SCI. The unexpected results of the present study suggest that NSC transplantation is a potential therapeutic modality for SCI, even in elderly patients. Overall design: Injured and naive mice were anesthetized and transcardially perfused with heparinized saline (5 U/ml) 9 days after injury (n=3 each). Dissected segments of the spinal cord at the Th9 level underwent expression profiling by array.
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:: As clinical application of neural stem cell (NSC) grafting into the brain would also encompass aged people, critical evaluation of engraftment of NSC graft-derived cells in the aged hippocampus has significance. We examined the engraftment and differentiation of alkaline phosphatase-positive NSCs expanded from the postnatal subventricular zone (SVZ), 3 months after grafting into the intact young or aged rat hippocampus. Graft-derived cells engrafted robustly into both young and aged hippocampi. Although most graft-derived cells pervasively migrated into different hippocampal layers, the graft cores endured and contained graft-derived neurons expressing neuron-specific nuclear antigen (NeuN) and ?-amino butyric acid in both groups. A fraction of migrated graft-derived cells in the neurogenic subgranular zone-granule cell layer also expressed NeuN. Neuronal differentiation was, however, occasionally seen amid graft-derived cells that had migrated into non-neurogenic regions, where substantial fractions differentiated into S-100?+ astrocytes, NG2+ oligodendrocyte progenitors, or Olig2+ putative oligodendrocytes. In both age groups, graft cores located in non-neurogenic regions displayed many doublecortin-positive (DCX+) immature neurons at 3 months after grafting. Analyses of cells within graft cores using birth dating and putative NSC markers revealed that DCX+ neurons were newly born neurons derived from engrafted cells and that putative NSCs persisted within the graft cores. Thus, both young and aged hippocampi support robust engraftment and similar differentiation of SVZ-NSC graft-derived cells. Furthermore, some grafted NSCs retain the "stemness" feature and produce new neurons even at 3 months after grafting, implying that grafting of SVZ-NSCs into the young or aged hippocampus leads to establishment of new neurogenic niches in non-neurogenic regions.The results demonstrate that advanced age of the host at the time of grafting has no major adverse effects on engraftment, migration, and differentiation of grafted subventricular zone-neural stem cells (SVZ-NSCs) in the intact hippocampus, as both young and aged hippocampi promoted excellent engraftment, migration, and differentiation of SVZ-NSC graft-derived cells in the present study. Furthermore, SVZ-NSC grafts showed ability for establishing neurogenic niches in non-neurogenic regions, generating new neurons for extended periods after grafting. This phenomenon will be beneficial if these niches can continuously generate new neurons and glia in the grafted hippocampus, as newly generated neurons and glia are expected to improve, not only the microenvironment, but also the plasticity and function of the aged hippocampus. Overall, these results have significance because the potential application of NSC grafting for treatment of neurodegenerative disorders at early stages of disease progression and age-related impairments would mostly involve aged persons as recipients.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a common disease that results in motor and sensory disorders and even lifelong paralysis. The transplantation of stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells (ESCs), induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), or subsequently generated stem/progenitor cells, is predicted to be a promising treatment for SCI. In this study, we aimed to investigate effect of human iPSC-derived neural stem cells (hiPSC-NSCs) and umbilical cord-derived MSCs (huMSCs) in a mouse model of acute SCI.<h4>Methods</h4>Acute SCI mice model were established and were randomly treated as phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) (control group), repaired with 1?×?10<sup>5</sup> hiPSC-NSCs (NSC group), and 1?×?10<sup>5</sup> huMSCs (MSC group), respectively, in a total of 54 mice (n?=?18 each). Hind limb motor function was evaluated in open-field tests using the Basso Mouse Scale (BMS) at days post-operation (dpo) 1, 3, 5, and 7 after spinal cord injury, and weekly thereafter. Spinal cord and serum samples were harvested at dpo 7, 14, and 21. Haematoxylin-eosin (H&E) staining and Masson staining were used to evaluate the morphological changes and fibrosis area. The differentiation of the transplanted cells in vivo was evaluated with immunohistochemical staining.<h4>Results</h4>The hiPSC-NSC-treated group presented a significantly smaller glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) positive area than MSC-treated mice at all time points. Additionally, MSC-transplanted mice had a similar GFAP+ area to mice receiving PBS. At dpo 14, the immunostained hiPSC-NSCs were positive for SRY-related high-mobility-group (HMG)-box protein-2 (SOX2). Furthermore, the transplanted hiPSC-NSCs differentiated into GFAP-positive astrocytes and beta-III tubulin-positive neurons, whereas the transplanted huMSCs differentiated into GFAP-positive astrocytes. In addition, hiPSC-NSC transplantation reduced fibrosis formation and the inflammation level. Compared with the control or huMSC transplanted group, the group with transplantation of hiPSC-NSCs exhibited significantly improved behaviours, particularly limb coordination.<h4>Conclusions</h4>HiPSC-NSCs promote functional recovery in mice with acute SCI by replacing missing neurons and attenuating fibrosis, glial scar formation, and inflammation.
Project description:To investigate a possibility of repairing damaged brain by intracerebroventricular transplantation of neural stem cells (NSCs) in the adult mice subjected to glutamate-induced excitotoxic injury.Mouse NSCs were isolated from the brains of embryos at 15-day postcoitum (dpc). The expression of nestin, a special antigen for NSC, was detected by immunocytochemistry. Immunofluorescence staining was carried out to observe the survival and location of transplanted NSCs. The animals in the MSG + NSCs group received intracerebroventricular transplantation of NSCs (approximately 1.0 x 10(5) cells) separately on day 1 and day 10 after 10-d MSG exposure (4.0 g/kg per day). The mice in control and MSG groups received intracerebroventricular injection of Dulbecco's minimum essential medium (DMEM) instead of NSCs. On day 11 after the last NSC transplantation, the test of Y-maze discrimination learning was performed, and then the histopathology of the animal brains was studied to analyze the MSG-induced functional and morphological changes of brain and the effects of intracerebroventricular transplantation of NSCs on the brain repair.The isolated cells were Nestin-positive. The grafted NSCs in the host brain were region-specifically survived at 10-d post-transplantation. Intracerebroventricular transplantation of NSCs obviously facilitated the brain recovery from glutamate-induced behavioral disturbances and histopathological impairs in adult mice.Intracerebroventricular transplantation of NSCs may be feasible in repairing diseased or damaged brain tissue.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Transplantation of neural stem cells (NSCs) is increasingly suggested to become part of future therapeutic approaches to improve functional outcome of various central nervous system disorders. However, recently it has become clear that only a small fraction of grafted NSCs display long-term survival in the (injured) adult mouse brain. Given the clinical invasiveness of NSC grafting into brain tissue, profound characterisation and understanding of early post-transplantation events is imperative to claim safety and efficacy of cell-based interventions. METHODS: Here, we applied in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI) and post-mortem quantitative histological analysis to determine the localisation and survival of grafted NSCs at early time points post-transplantation. RESULTS: An initial dramatic cell loss (up to 80% of grafted cells) due to apoptosis could be observed within the first 24 hours post-implantation, coinciding with a highly hypoxic NSC graft environment. Subsequently, strong spatiotemporal microglial and astroglial cell responses were initiated, which stabilised by day 5 post-implantation and remained present during the whole observation period. Moreover, the increase in astrocyte density was associated with a high degree of astroglial scarring within and surrounding the graft site. During the two-week follow up in this study, the NSC graft site underwent extensive remodelling with NSC graft survival further declining to around 1% of the initial number of grafted cells. CONCLUSIONS: The present study quantitatively describes the early post-transplantation events following NSC grafting in the adult mouse brain and warrants that such intervention is directly associated with a high degree of cell loss, subsequently followed by strong glial cell responses.
Project description:The harsh host brain microenvironment caused by production of reactive oxygen species after ischemic reperfusion injury offers a significant challenge to survival of transplanted neural stem cells (NSCs) after ischemic stroke. Copper/zinc-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) is a specific antioxidant enzyme that counteracts superoxide anions. We have investigated whether genetic manipulation to overexpress SOD1 enhances survival of grafted stem cells and accelerates amelioration of ischemic stroke.NSCs genetically modified to overexpress or downexpress SOD1 were administered intracerebrally 2 days after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. Histological and behavioral tests were examined from Days 0 to 28 after stroke.Overexpression of SOD1 suppressed production of superoxide anions after ischemic reperfusion injury and reduced NSC death after transplantation. In contrast, downexpression of SOD1 promoted superoxide generation and increased oxidative stress-mediated NSC death. Transplantation of SOD1-overexpressing NSCs enhanced angiogenesis in the ischemic border zone through upregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor. Moreover, grafted SOD1-overexpressing NSCs reduced infarct size and improved behavioral performance compared with NSCs that were not genetically modified.Our findings reveal a strong involvement of SOD1 expression in NSC survival after ischemic reperfusion injury. We propose that conferring antioxidant properties on NSCs by genetic manipulation of SOD1 is a potential approach for enhancing the effectiveness of cell transplantation therapy in ischemic stroke.
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:Neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation is a major focus of current research for treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI). However, it is very important to promote the survival and differentiation of NSCs into myelinating oligodendrocytes (OLs). In this study, myelin basic protein-activated T (MBP-T) cells were passively immunized to improve the SCI microenvironment. Olig2-overexpressing NSCs were infected with a lentivirus carrying the enhanced green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene to generate Olig2-GFP-NSCs that were transplanted into the injured site to differentiate into OLs. Transferred MBP-T cells infiltrated the injured spinal cord, produced neurotrophic factors, and induced the differentiation of resident microglia and/or infiltrating blood monocytes into an "alternatively activated" anti-inflammatory macrophage phenotype by producing interleukin-13. As a result, the survival of transplanted NSCs increased fivefold in MBP-T cell-transferred rats compared with that of the vehicle-treated control. In addition, the differentiation of MBP-positive OLs increased 12-fold in Olig2-GFP-NSC-transplanted rats compared with that of GFP-NSC-transplanted controls. In the MBP-T cell and Olig2-GFP-NSC combined group, the number of OL-remyelinated axons significantly increased compared with those of all other groups. However, a significant decrease in spinal cord lesion volume and an increase in spared myelin and behavioral recovery were observed in Olig2-NSC- and NSC-transplanted MBP-T cell groups. Collectively, these results suggest that MBP-T cell adoptive immunotherapy combined with NSC transplantation has a synergistic effect on histological and behavioral improvement after traumatic SCI. Although Olig2 overexpression enhances OL differentiation and myelination, the effect on functional recovery may be surpassed by MBP-T cells.
Project description:Accumulation of ?-synuclein (?-syn) into insoluble aggregates occurs in several related disorders collectively referred to as synucleinopathies. To date, studies have used neural stem cells (NSCs) to examine questions about ?-syn propagation, but have overlooked the therapeutic potential of NSC transplantation to modulate cognition in disorders such as dementia with Lewy bodies or Parkinson's disease dementia. Here, we show that striatal transplantation of NSCs into aged ?-syn transgenic mice significantly improves performance in multiple cognitive and motor domains. This recovery is associated with NSC expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which restores depleted levels and modulates dopaminergic and glutamatergic systems. Most importantly, transplantation of BDNF-depleted NSCs fails to improve behavior, whereas AAV-mediated BDNF delivery mimics the benefits of NSC transplantation, supporting a critical role for this neurotrophin in functional improvement. Thus, NSC transplantation could offer a promising approach to treat the understudied yet devastating cognitive components of many synucleinopathies.