Transplantation of Recombinant Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)189-Neural Stem Cells Downregulates Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) and Improves Motor Outcome in Spinal Cord Injury.
ABSTRACT: 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/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:The body's capacity to restore damaged neural networks in the injured CNS is severely limited. Although various treatment regimens can partially alleviate spinal cord injury (SCI), the mechanisms responsible for symptomatic improvement remain elusive. Here, using a mouse model of SCI, we have shown that transplantation of neural stem cells (NSCs) together with administration of valproic acid (VPA), a known antiepileptic and histone deacetylase inhibitor, dramatically enhanced the restoration of hind limb function. VPA treatment promoted the differentiation of transplanted NSCs into neurons rather than glial cells. Transsynaptic anterograde corticospinal tract tracing revealed that transplant-derived neurons reconstructed broken neuronal circuits, and electron microscopic analysis revealed that the transplant-derived neurons both received and sent synaptic connections to endogenous neurons. Ablation of the transplanted cells abolished the recovery of hind limb motor function, confirming that NSC transplantation directly contributed to restored motor function. These findings raise the possibility that epigenetic status in transplanted NSCs can be manipulated to provide effective treatment for SCI.
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:Spinal cord injury (SCI) can lead to severe motor, sensory and social impairments having a huge impact on patients' lives. The complex and time-dependent SCI pathophysiology has been hampering the development of novel and effective therapies. Current treatment options include surgical interventions, to stabilize and decompress the spinal cord, and rehabilitative care, without providing a cure for these patients. Novel therapies have been developed targeting different stages during trauma. Among them, cell-based therapies hold great potential for tissue regeneration after injury. Neural stem cells (NSCs), which are multipotent cells with inherent differentiation capabilities committed to the neuronal lineage, are especially relevant to promote and reestablish the damaged neuronal spinal tracts. Several studies demonstrate the regenerative effects of NSCs in SCI after transplantation by providing neurotrophic support and restoring synaptic connectivity. Therefore, human clinical trials have already been launched to assess safety in SCI patients. Here, we review NSC-based experimental studies in a SCI context and how are they currently being translated into human clinical trials.
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>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:Spinal cord injury (SCI) can cause severe irreversible motor dysfunction and even death. Neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation can promote functional recovery after acute SCI in experimental animals, but numerous issues, including low-transplanted cell survival rate, cell de-differentiation, and tumor formation need to be resolved before routine clinical application is feasible. Recent studies have shown that transplanted stem cells facilitate regeneration through release of paracrine factors. Small extracellular vesicles (sEVs), the smallest known membrane-bound nanovesicles, are involved in complex intercellular communication systems and are an important vehicle for paracrine delivery of therapeutic agents. However, the application of NSC-derived small extracellular vesicles (NSC-sEVs) to SCI treatment has not been reported. We demonstrate that NSC-sEVs can significantly reduce the extent of SCI, improve functional recovery, and reduce neuronal apoptosis, microglia activation, and neuroinflammation in rats. Furthermore, our study suggests that NSC-sEVs can regulate apoptosis and inflammatory processes by inducing autophagy. In brief, NSC-sEVs increased the expression of the autophagy marker proteins LC3B and beclin-1, and promoted autophagosome formation. Following NSC-sEV infusion, the SCI area was significantly reduced, and the expression levels of the proapoptotic protein Bax, the apoptosis effector cleaved caspase-3, and the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 were significantly reduced, whereas the expression level of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 was upregulated. In the presence of the autophagy inhibitor 3MA, however, these inhibitory effects of NSC-sEVs on apoptosis and neuroinflammation were significantly reversed. Our results show for the first time that NSC-sEV treatment has the potential to reduce neuronal apoptosis, inhibit neuroinflammation, and promote functional recovery in SCI model rats at an early stage by promoting autophagy.
Project description:Transplantation of neural stem cells (NSCs) is a potential strategy for the treatment of spinal cord transection (SCT). Here we investigated whether transplanted NSCs would improve motor function of rats with SCT and explored the underlying mechanism. First, the rats were divided into sham, SCT, and NSC groups. Rats in the SCT and NSC groups were all subjected to SCT in T10, and were administered with media and NSC transplantation into the lesion site, respectively. Immunohistochemistry was used to label Nestin-, TUNEL-, and NeuN-positive cells and reveal the expression and location of type I insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1 R). Locomotor function of hind limbs was assessed by Basso, Beattie, Bresnahan (BBB) score and inclined plane test. The conduction velocity and amplitude of spinal nerve fibers were measured by electrophysiology and the anatomical changes were measured using magnetic resonance imaging. Moreover, expression of IGF-1 R was determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting. The results showed that NSCs could survive and differentiate into neurons in vitro and in vivo. SCT-induced deficits were reduced by NSC transplantation, including increase in NeuN-positive cells and decrease in apoptotic cells. Moreover, neurophysiological profiles indicated that the latent period was decreased and the peak-to-peak amplitude of spinal nerve fibers conduction was increased in transplanted rats, while morphological measures indicated that fractional anisotropy and the number of nerve fibers in the site of spinal cord injury were increased after NSC transplantation. In addition, mRNA and protein level of IGF-1 R were increased in the rostral segment in the NSC group, especially in neurons. Therefore, we concluded that NSC transplantation promotes motor function improvement of SCT, which might be associated with activated IGF-1 R, especially in the rostral site. All of the above suggests that this approach has potential for clinical treatment of spinal cord injury.
Project description:Spinal cord injury (SCI) is the leading cause of paralysis, disability and even death in severe cases, and neural stem cells (NSCs) transplant has been employed for repairing SCI. Ferulic acid (FA) is able to promote neurogenesis in various stem cell therapies. We aimed to investigate the effect of FA on NSC transplant therapy, and the underlying mechanism, in improving functional recovery in SCI rat model. A rat model of SCI was established, which then received transplant of NSCs with or without FA pre-treatment. Functional recovery of the SCI rats was then evaluated, in terms of spinal cord water content, myeloperoxidase activity and behavioral assessments. Effect of FA in inducing hypoxia in NSCs was also assessed, followed by identifying the hypoxic regulated microRNA and the subsequent target gene. Transplant of FA pre-treated NSCs improved functional recovery of SCI rats to a more significant extent than NSCs without FA pre-treatment. The beneficial effects of FA in repairing SCI was mediated by inducing hypoxia in NSCs, which in turn inhibited microRNA-590 to elevate vascular endothelial growth factor expression. Our findings support the clinical potential of FA in improving efficacy of NSC transplant therapy for treatment of SCI.
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 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.