Spinal Reflex Recovery after Dorsal Rhizotomy and Repair with Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Gel Combined with Bioengineered Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs).
ABSTRACT: Dorsal root rhizotomy (DRZ) is currently considered an untreatable injury, resulting in the loss of sensitive function and usually leading to neuropathic pain. In this context, we recently proposed a new surgical approach to treat DRZ that uses platelet-rich plasma (PRP) gel to restore the spinal reflex. Success was correlated with the reentry of primary afferents into the spinal cord. Here, aiming to enhance previous results, cell therapy with bioengineered human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to overexpress fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) was combined with PRP. For these experiments, adult female rats were submitted to a unilateral rhizotomy of the lumbar spinal dorsal roots, which was followed by root repair with PRP gel with or without bioengineered hESCs. One week after DRZ, the spinal cords were processed to evaluate changes in the glial response (GFAP and Iba-1) and excitatory synaptic circuits (VGLUT1) by immunofluorescence. Eight weeks postsurgery, the lumbar intumescences were processed for analysis of the repaired microenvironment by transmission electron microscopy. Spinal reflex recovery was evaluated by the electronic Von Frey method for eight weeks. The transcript levels for human FGF2 were over 37-fold higher in the induced hESCs than in the noninduced and the wildtype counterparts. Altogether, the results indicate that the combination of hESCs with PRP gel promoted substantial and prominent axonal regeneration processes after DRZ. Thus, the repair of dorsal roots, if done appropriately, may be considered an approach to regain sensory-motor function after dorsal root axotomy.
Project description:Root lesions may affect both dorsal and ventral roots. However, due to the possibility of generating further inflammation and neuropathic pain, surgical procedures do not prioritize the repair of the afferent component. The loss of such sensorial input directly disturbs the spinal circuits thus affecting the functionality of the injuried limb. The present study evaluated the motor and sensory improvement following dorsal root reimplantation with fibrin sealant (FS) plus bone marrow mononuclear cells (MC) after dorsal rhizotomy. MC were used to enhance the repair process. We also analyzed changes in the glial response and synaptic circuits within the spinal cord. Female Lewis rats (6-8 weeks old) were divided in three groups: rhizotomy (RZ group), rhizotomy repaired with FS (RZ+FS group) and rhizotomy repaired with FS and MC (RZ+FS+MC group). The behavioral tests electronic von-Frey and Walking track test were carried out. For immunohistochemistry we used markers to detect different synapse profiles as well as glial reaction. The behavioral results showed a significant decrease in sensory and motor function after lesion. The reimplantation decreased glial reaction and improved synaptic plasticity of afferent inputs. Cell therapy further enhanced the rewiring process. In addition, both reimplanted groups presented twice as much motor control compared to the non-treated group. In conclusion, the reimplantation with FS and MC is efficient and may be considered an approach to improve sensory-motor recovery following dorsal rhizotomy.
Project description:Peripheral nerve injury induces upregulation of the calcium channel alpha2delta-1 structural subunit in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and dorsal spinal cord of spinal nerve-ligated rats with neuropathic pain, suggesting a role of the calcium channel alpha2delta-1 subunit in central sensitization. To investigate whether spinal dorsal horn alpha2delta-1 subunit upregulation derives from increased DRG alpha2delta-1 subunit and plays a causal role in neuropathic pain development, we examined spinal dorsal hornalpha2delta-1 subunit expression with or without dorsal rhizotomy in spinal nerve-ligated rats and its correlation with tactile allodynia, a neuropathic pain state defined as reduced thresholds to non-noxious tactile stimulation. We also examined the effects of intrathecal alpha2delta-1 antisense oligonucleotides on alpha2delta-1 subunit expression and neuropathic allodynia in the nerve-ligated rats. Our data indicated that spinal nerve injury resulted in time-dependentalpha2delta-1 subunit upregulation in the spinal dorsal horn that correlated temporally with neuropathic allodynia development and maintenance. Dorsal rhizotomy diminished basal level expression and blocked injury-induced expression of the spinal dorsal hornalpha2delta-1 subunit and reversed injury-induced tactile allodynia. In addition, intrathecal alpha2delta-1 antisense oligonucleotides blocked injury-induced dorsal horn alpha2delta-1 subunit upregulation and diminished tactile allodynia. These findings indicate that alpha2delta-1 subunit basal expression occurs presynaptically and postsynaptically in spinal dorsal horn. Nerve injury induces mainly presynaptic alpha2delta-1 subunit expression that derives from increased alpha2delta-1 subunit in injured DRG neurons. Thus, changes in presynaptic alpha2delta-1 subunit expression contribute to injury-induced spinal neuroplasticity and central sensitization that underlies neuropathic pain development and maintenance.
Project description:Although surgical re-implantation of spinal roots may improve recovery of proximal motor function after cervical root avulsion, recovery of sensory function necessary for fine motor coordination of the hand has been difficult to achieve, in large part because of failure of regeneration of axons into the spinal cord. In order to enhance regeneration, we constructed a non-replicating herpes simplex virus (HSV)-vector carrying the gene coding for bacterial C3 transferase (C3t). Subcutaneous inoculation of the vector into the skin of the forepaw 1 week after a dorsal C5-T1 rhizotomy resulted in expression of C3t in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and inhibition of Rho GTPase activity, resulting in extensive axonal regeneration into the spinal cord that correlated with improved sensory-motor coordination of the forepaw.
Project description:Rho GTPases are thought to mediate the action of several axonal growth inhibitors in the adult brain and spinal cord. RhoA has been targeted pharmacologically in both humans and animals to promote neurite outgrowth and functional recovery following CNS trauma. However, rat spinal cord injury studies suggest a complicated and partial benefit of inhibiting Rho or its downstream effector, Rho-associated kinase (ROCKII). This limited benefit may reflect inhibition of other kinases, poor access, or a minimal role of ROCKII in vivo. Therefore, we studied ROCKII mutant mice to probe this pathway genetically. ROCKII(-/-) dorsal root ganglion neurons are less sensitive to inhibition by Nogo protein or by chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan in vitro. We examined adult ROCKII(-/-) mice in two injury paradigms, cervical multilevel dorsal rhizotomy and midthoracic dorsal spinal cord hemisection. After dorsal root crush injury, the ROCKII(-/-) mice recovered use of the affected forepaw more quickly than did controls. Moreover, multiple classes of sensory axons regenerated across the dorsal root entry zone into the spinal cord of mice lacking ROCKII. After the spinal cord injury, ROCKII(-/-) mice showed enhanced local growth of raphespinal axons in the caudal spinal cord and corticospinal axons into the lesion site. Improved functional recovery was not observed by Basso Mouse Scale score following dorsal hemisection, likely due to developmental defects in the nervous system. Together, these findings demonstrate that the ROCKII gene product limits axonal growth after CNS trauma.
Project description:There are substantial disagreements about the expression of gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) in sensory neurons and whether GRP antibody cross-reacts with substance P (SP). These concerns necessitate a critical revaluation of GRP expression using additional approaches. Here, we show that a widely used GRP antibody specifically recognizes GRP but not SP. In the spinal cord of mice lacking SP (Tac1KO), the expression of not only GRP but also other peptides, notably neuropeptide Y (NPY), is significantly diminished. We detectedGrpmRNA in dorsal root ganglias using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, in situ hybridization and RNA-seq. We demonstrated thatGrpmRNA and protein are upregulated in dorsal root ganglias, but not in the spinal cord, of mice with chronic itch. Few GRP(+)immunostaining signals were detected in spinal sections following dorsal rhizotomy and GRP(+)cell bodies were not detected in dissociated dorsal horn neurons. Ultrastructural analysis further shows that substantially more GRPergic fibers form synaptic contacts with gastrin releasing peptide receptor-positive (GRPR(+)) neurons than SPergic fibers. Our comprehensive study demonstrates that a majority of GRPergic fibers are of primary afferent origin. A number of factors such as low copy number ofGrptranscripts, small percentage of cells expressingGrp, and the use of an eGFP GENSAT transgenic as a surrogate for GRP protein have contributed to the controversy. Optimization of experimental procedures facilitates the specific detection of GRP expression in dorsal root ganglia neurons.
Project description:Chronic low-back pain (CLBP) has an increasing incidence and yields a tremendous health economic burden. There are different anatomic structures that may be responsible for CLBP, such as lumbar intervertebral discs, sacroiliac joints, nerve root dura, fascia, ligaments, and muscles. However, to a large extent, CLBP is associated with structural changes in and around the facet (zygapophyseal) joint. If conservative treatment strategies fail, symptoms and pain can effectively be reduced by denervation or rhizotomy of the medial branch of the dorsal ramus of the spinal nerve through radiofrequency ablation. In this technical description with video, we present an endoscopic technique for radiofrequency rhizotomy. This technique has the advantage of directly visualizing the facet joint as well as its surrounding structures including the medial branches.
Project description:Estrogens were originally identified as the primary sex steroid hormones in females and regulators of reproductive function and sexual behavior, but it has long been suggested that estrogens also have local effects on the somatosensory system at the spinal cord level. It is well known that the effects of estrogens are mediated by nuclear estrogen receptors (ERs) through genomic action, but recently a membrane-bound G protein-coupled receptor, GPR30, was identified as a non-genomic estrogen receptor. In this study we investigated the presence and localization of GPR30 in the rat spinal cord and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) in comparison with ERalpha. Using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, we showed the expression of GPR30 in DRG neurons in male and female rats at mRNA and protein levels without specific sexual difference. A dense accumulation of GPR30 immunoreactivity was observed in the outer layer of the spinal dorsal horn, and selective spinal dorsal rhizotomy revealed that GPR30 was transported from the DRG to terminals located in the spinal dorsal horn. GPR30 expression was downregulated in DRG neurons of ovariectomized female rats. The spinal somatosensory system might be modulated by estradiol via putative membrane ER, GPR30-mediated mechanism.
Project description:Itch is one of the major somatosensory modalities. Some recent findings have proposed that gastrin releasing peptide (Grp) is expressed in a subset of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and functions as a selective neurotransmitter for transferring itch information to spinal cord interneurons. However, expression data from public databases and earlier literatures indicate that Grp mRNA is only detected in dorsal spinal cord (dSC) whereas its family member neuromedin B (Nmb) is highly expressed in DRG neurons. These contradictory results argue that a thorough characterization of the expression of Grp and Nmb is warranted.Grp mRNA is highly expressed in dSC but is barely detectable in DRGs of juvenile and adult mice. Anti-bombesin serum specifically recognizes Grp but not Nmb. Grp is present in a small number of small-diameter DRG neurons and in abundance in layers I and II of the spinal cord. The reduction of dSC Grp after dorsal root rhizotomy is significantly different from those of DRG derived markers but similar to that of a spinal cord neuronal marker. Double fluorescent in situ of Nmb and other molecular markers indicate that Nmb is highly and selectively expressed in nociceptive and itch-sensitive DRG neurons.The majority of dSC Grp is synthesized locally in dorsal spinal cord neurons. On the other hand, Nmb is highly expressed in pain- and itch-sensing DRG neurons. Our findings provide direct anatomic evidence that Grp could function locally in the dorsal spinal cord in addition to its roles in DRG neurons and that Nmb has potential roles in nociceptive and itch-sensitive neurons. These results will improve our understanding about roles of Grp and Nmb in mediating itch sensation.
Project description:Infrared neural stimulation (INS) is a neurostimulation modality that uses pulsed infrared light to evoke artifact-free, spatially precise neural activity with a noncontact interface; however, the technique has not been demonstrated in humans. The objective of this study is to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of INS in humans in vivo. The feasibility of INS in humans was assessed in patients ([Formula: see text]) undergoing selective dorsal root rhizotomy, where hyperactive dorsal roots, identified for transection, were stimulated in vivo with INS on two to three sites per nerve with electromyogram recordings acquired throughout the stimulation. The stimulated dorsal root was removed and histology was performed to determine thermal damage thresholds of INS. Threshold activation of human dorsal rootlets occurred in 63% of nerves for radiant exposures between 0.53 and [Formula: see text]. In all cases, only one or two monitored muscle groups were activated from INS stimulation of a hyperactive spinal root identified by electrical stimulation. Thermal damage was first noted at [Formula: see text] and a [Formula: see text] safety ratio was identified. These findings demonstrate the success of INS as a fresh approach for activating human nerves in vivo and providing the necessary safety data needed to pursue clinically driven therapeutic and diagnostic applications of INS in humans.
Project description:Dorsal root injury is a situation not expected to be followed by a strong regenerative growth, or growth of the injured axon into the central nervous system of the spinal cord, if the central axon of the dorsal root is injured but of strong regeneration if subjected to injury to the peripherally projecting axons. The clinical consequence of axonal injury is loss of sensation and may also lead to neuropathic pain. In this study, we have used in situ hybridization to examine the distribution of mRNAs for the neural guidance molecules semaphorin 3A (SEMA3A), semaphorin 3F (SEMA3F), and semaphorin 4F (SEMA4F), their receptors neuropilin 1 (NP1) and neuropilin 2 (NP2) but also for the neuropilin ligand vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and Tenascin J1, an extracellular matrix molecule involved in axonal guidance, in rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG) after a unilateral dorsal rhizotomy (DRT) or sciatic nerve transcetion (SNT). The studied survival times were 1-365?days. The different forms of mRNAs were unevenly distributed between the different size classes of sensory nerve cells. The results show that mRNA for SEMA3A was diminished after trauma to the sensory nerve roots in rats. The SEMA3A receptor NP1, and SEMA3F receptor NP2, was significantly upregulated in the DRG neurons after DRT and SNT. SEMA4F was upregulated after a SNT. The expression of mRNA for VEGF in DRG neurons after DRT showed a significant upregulation that was high even a year after the injuries. These data suggest a role for the semaphorins, neuropilins, VEGF, and J1 in the reactions after dorsal root lesions.