Evaluation of the Clinical Efficacy of Stem Cell Transplantation in the Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.
ABSTRACT: Stem cell transplantation has been applied to treat spinal cord injury (SCI) in clinical trials for many years. However, the clinical efficacies of stem cell transplantation in SCI have been quite diverse. The purpose of our study was to systematically investigate the efficacy of stem cell transplantation in patients with SCI. The PubMed, Web of Science, Ovid-Medline, Cochrane Library, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, VIP, Wanfang, and SinoMed databases were searched until October 27, 2020. Quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed by Review Manager 5.3 and R. Nine studies (n = 328) were included, and the overall risk of bias was moderate. The ASIA Impairment Scale (AIS) grading improvement rate was analyzed in favor of stem cell transplantation group [odds ratio (OR) = 6.06, 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.16-11.62, P < 0.00001]. Urodynamic indices also showed improvement in bladder function. In subgroup analyses, the results indicated that in patients with complete (AIS A) SCI, with the application of cell numbers between n*(107-108), two cell types (i.e., bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and bone marrow mononuclears), and treatment time of more than 6 months, stem cell transplantation was more beneficial for sensorimotor function (P < 0.05 for all groups). The risk of fever incidence in the stem cell transplantation group was 4.22 (95% CI: 1.7-10.22, P = 0.001), and principal component analysis (PCA) suggested it was more related to transplanted cell numbers. Thus, stem cell transplantation can promote functional recovery in SCI patients. Moreover, the type and quantity of transplanted stem cells and treatment time are important factors affecting the therapeutic effect of stem cell transplantation in SCI. Further studies are needed to evaluate the effects and elucidate the mechanisms of these factors on stem cell therapy in SCI.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and their cellular response to various stimuli have been characterized in great detail in culture conditions. In contrast, the cellular response of MSCs in an in vivo setting is still uncharted territory. In this study, we investigated the cellular response of MSCs following transplantation into spinal cord injury (SCI). METHODS:Mouse bone marrow-derived MSCs were transplanted 24?h following severe contusion SCI in mice. As controls, MSCs transplanted to the uninjured spinal cord and non-transplanted MSCs were used. At 7?days post transplantation, the MSCs were isolated from the SCI, and their global transcriptional changes, survival, differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, and phenotypes were investigated using RNA sequencing, immunohistochemistry, and flow cytometry. RESULTS:MSCs transplanted into SCI downregulated genes related to cell-cycle regulation/progression, DNA metabolic/biosynthetic process, and DNA repair and upregulated genes related to immune system response, cytokine production/response, response to stress/stimuli, signal transduction and signaling pathways, apoptosis, and phagocytosis/endocytosis. MSCs maintained their surface expression of Sca1 and CD29 but upregulated expression of CD45 following transplantation. Transplanted MSCs maintained their surface expression of MHC-I but upregulated surface expression of MHC-II. Transplanted MSCs survived and proliferated to a low extent, did not express Caspase-3, and did not differentiate into neurons or astrocytes. CONCLUSION:MSCs transplanted into SCI upregulate expression of CD45 and MHC-II and expression of genes related to cytokine production, phagocytosis/endocytosis, and immune cells/response and thereby adopt immune cell-like characteristics within the recipient.
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:Cell-based therapy using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is a novel treatment strategy for spinal cord injury (SCI). MSCs can be isolated from various tissues, and their characteristics vary based on the source. However, reports demonstrating the effect of transplanted rat cranial bone-derived MSCs (rcMSCs) on rat SCI models are lacking. In this study, we determined the effect of transplanting rcMSCs in rat SCI models. MSCs were established from collected bone marrow and cranial bones. SCI rats were established using the weight-drop method and transplanted intravenously with MSCs at 24 h post SCI. The recovery of motor function and hindlimb electrophysiology was evaluated 4 weeks post transplantation. Electrophysiological recovery was evaluated by recording the transcranial electrical stimulation motor-evoked potentials. Tissue repair after SCI was assessed by calculating the cavity ratio. The expression of genes involved in the inflammatory response and cell death in the spinal cord tissue was assessed by real-time polymerase chain reaction. The transplantation of rcMSCs improved motor function and electrophysiology recovery, and reduced cavity ratio. The expression of proinflammatory cytokines was suppressed in the spinal cord tissues of the rats that received rcMSCs. These results demonstrate the efficacy of rcMSCs as cell-based therapy for SCI.
Project description:Severe spinal cord injury (SCI) leads to permanent, complete paraplegia and places considerable mental and economic burdens on patients, compared with mild to moderate SCI. However, the dose-related effects of the neural stem/precursor cell (NSPC) transplantation on the injury microenvironment, NSPC survival, axonal growth, neuronal distribution, the composition of neurons, oligodendrocytes, and astrocytes in the lesion area and functional recovery have not yet been quantitatively evaluated in the context of severe SCI. In our study, we acutely transplanted 2.5 × 10<sup>4</sup> or 1.5 × 10<sup>5</sup> NSPCs/<i>?</i>l into the site of transection SCI. We found that high-dose NSPC transplantation exerted immunomodulatory and neuroprotective effects in the acute phase of severe SCI. In addition, one week later, a remarkable positive relationship was observed between the transplantation dose and the number of surviving NSPCs in severe SCI. At 8 weeks postgrafting, subjects that received the higher cell dose exhibited abundant nerve regeneration, extensive neuronal distribution, increased proportions of neurons and oligodendrocytes, and nascent functional neural network formation in the lesion area. Notably, a significant functional recovery was also observed. Our data suggest that it is important to consider potential dose-related effects on donor cell survival, neuronal distribution, and locomotor recovery in the development of preclinical NSPC transplantation therapy for severe SCI.
Project description:The immense regenerative power of hematopoietic tissue stems from the activation of the immature stem cells and the progenitor cells. After partial damage, hematopoiesis is reconstituted through a period of intense regeneration when blood cell production originates from erythro-myeloid progenitors in the virtual absence of stem cells. Since the damaged hematopoiesis can also be reconstituted from transplanted hematopoietic cells, we asked whether this also leads to the transient state when activated progenitors initially execute blood cell production. We first showed that the early reconstitution of hematopoiesis from transplanted cells gives rise to extended populations of developmentally advanced but altered progenitor cells, similar to those previously identified in the bone marrow regenerating from endogenous cells. We then identified the cells that give rise to these progenitors after transplantation as LSK CD48<sup>-</sup> cells. In the submyeloablative irradiated host mice, the transplanted LSK CD48<sup>-</sup> cells preferably colonized the spleen. Unlike the endogenous hematopoiesis reconstituting cells, the transplanted whole bone marrow cells and sorted LSK CD48<sup>-</sup> cells had greater potential to differentiate to B-lymphopoiesis. Separate transplantation of the CD150<sup>-</sup> and CD150<sup>+</sup> subsets of LSK CD48<sup>-</sup> cells suggested that CD150<sup>-</sup> cells had a greater preference to B-lymphopoiesis than CD150<sup>+</sup> cells. In the intensively regenerating hematopoiesis, the CD71/Sca-1 plot of immature murine hematopoietic cells revealed that the expanded populations of altered myeloid progenitors were highly variable in the different places of hematopoietic tissues. This high variability is likely caused by the heterogeneity of the hematopoiesis supporting stroma. Lastly, we demonstrate that during the period when active hematopoiesis resumes from transplanted cells, the hematopoietic tissues still remain highly permissive for further engraftment of transplanted cells, particularly the stem cells. Thus, these results provide a rationale for the transplantation of the hematopoietic stem cells in successive doses that could be used to boost the transplantation outcome.
Project description:Spinal cord injury (SCI) has always been considered to be a devastating problem that results in catastrophic dysfunction, high disability rate, low mortality rate, and huge cost for the patient. Stem cell-based therapy, especially using bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs), is a promising strategy for the treatment of SCI. However, SCI results in low rates of cell survival and a poor microenvironment, which limits the therapeutic efficiency of BMSC transplantation. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is known as a powerful antioxidant, which inhibits lipid peroxidation and scavenges free radicals, and its combined effect with BMSC transplantation has been shown to have a powerful impact on protecting the vitality of cells, as well as antioxidant and antiapoptotic compounds in SCI. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate whether CoQ10 could decrease oxidative stress against the apoptosis of BMSCs in vitro and explored its molecular mechanisms. Furthermore, we investigated the protective effect of CoQ10 combined with BMSCs transplanted into a SCI model to verify its ability. Our results demonstrate that CoQ10 treatment significantly decreases the expression of the proapoptotic proteins Bax and Caspase-3, as shown through TUNEL-positive staining and the products of oxidative stress (ROS), while increasing the expression of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 and the products of antioxidation, such as glutathione (GSH), against apoptosis and oxidative stress, in a H2O2-induced model. We also identified consistent results from the CoQ10 treatment of BMSCs transplanted into SCI rats in vivo. Moreover, the Nrf-2 signaling pathway was also investigated in order to detail its molecular mechanism, and the results show that it plays an important role, both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, CoQ10 exerts an antiapoptotic and antioxidant effect, as well as improves the microenvironment in vitro and in vivo. It may also protect BMSCs from oxidative stress and enhance their therapeutic efficiency when transplanted for SCI treatment.
Project description:The therapeutic effects of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation following spinal cord injury (SCI) to date have been limited. Therefore, we aimed to enhance the immunomodulatory properties of MSCs via continuous secretion of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-13 (IL-13). By using MSCs as carriers of IL-13 (MSC/IL-13), we investigated their therapeutic potential, compared with non-engineered MSCs, in a mouse model of SCI. We show that transplanted MSC/IL-13 significantly improve functional recovery following SCI, and also decrease lesion size and demyelinated area by more than 40%. Further histological analyses in CX<sub>3</sub>CR1<sup>EGFP/+</sup> CCR2<sup>RFP/+</sup> transgenic mice indicated that MSC/IL-13 significantly decrease the number of resident microglia and increase the number of alternatively activated macrophages. In addition, the number of macrophage-axon contacts in MSC/IL-13-treated mice was decreased by 50%, suggesting a reduction in axonal dieback. Our data provide evidence that transplantation of MSC/IL-13 leads to improved functional and histopathological recovery in a mouse model of SCI.
Project description:Stem cell-based therapeutics are amongst the most promising next-generation therapeutic approaches for the treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI), as they may promote the repair or regeneration of damaged spinal cord tissues. However, preclinical optimization should be performed before clinical application to guarantee safety and therapeutic effect. Here, we investigated the optimal injection route and dose for adult human multipotent neural cells (ahMNCs) from patients with hemorrhagic stroke using an SCI animal model. ahMNCs demonstrate several characteristics associated with neural stem cells (NSCs), including the expression of NSC-specific markers, self-renewal, and multi neural cell lineage differentiation potential. When ahMNCs were transplanted into the lateral ventricle of the SCI animal model, they specifically migrated within 24 h of injection to the damaged spinal cord, where they survived for at least 5 weeks after injection. Although ahMNC transplantation promoted significant locomotor recovery, the injection dose was shown to influence treatment outcomes, with a 1 × 10<sup>6</sup> (medium) dose of ahMNCs producing significantly better functional recovery than a 3 × 10<sup>5</sup> (low) dose. There was no significant gain in effect with the 3 × 10<sup>6</sup> ahMNCs dose. Histological analysis suggested that ahMNCs exert their effects by modulating glial scar formation, neuroprotection, and/or angiogenesis. These data indicate that ahMNCs from patients with hemorrhagic stroke could be used to develop stem cell therapies for SCI and that the indirect injection route could be clinically relevant. Moreover, the optimal transplantation dose of ahMNCs defined in this preclinical study might be helpful in calculating its optimal injection dose for patients with SCI in the future.
Project description:Bone marrow derived stem cells (BMSCs) transplantation are viewed as a promising therapeutic candidate for spinal cord injury (SCI). However, the inflammatory microenvironment in the spinal cord following SCI limits the survival and efficacy of transplanted BMSCs. In this study, we investigate whether injured neuronal cells derived exosomes would influence the survival of transplanted BMSCs after SCI. In order to mimic the microenvironment in SCI that the neuronal cells or transplanted BMSCs suffer in vivo, PC12 cells conditioned medium and PC12 cell's exosomes collected from H2O2-treated PC12 cell's culture medium were cultured with BMSCs under oxidative stress in vitro. PC12 cells conditioned medium and PC12 cell's exosomes significantly accelerated the apoptosis of BMSCs induced by H2O2. Moreover, the cleaved caspase-3, cytochrome (Cyt) C, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) releases, and apoptotic percentage were increased, and the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax and cell viability were decreased. Inhibition of exosome secretion via Rab27a small interfering RNA prevented BMSCs apoptosis in vitro. In addition, hypoxia-preconditioned promoted the survival of BMSCs under oxidative stress both in vivo after SCI and in vitro. Our results also indicate that HIF-1α plays a central role in the survival of BMSCs in hypoxia pretreatment under oxidative stress conditions. siRNA-HIF-1α increased apoptosis of BMSCs; in contrast, HIF-1α inducer FG-4592 attenuated apoptosis of BMSCs. Taken together, we found that the injured PC12 cells derived exosomes accelerate BMSCs apoptosis after SCI and in vitro, hypoxia pretreatment or activating expression of HIF-1α to be important in the survival of BMSCs after transplantation, which provides a foundation for application of BMSCs in therapeutic potential for SCI.
Project description:<h4>Background and objectives</h4>Treatment with mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in spinal cord injury (SCI) has been highlighted as therapeutic candidate for SCI. Although astrogliosis is a major phenomenon after SCI, the role of astrogliosis is still controversial. In this study, we determined whether acute transplantation of MSC improves the outcome of SCI through modulating astrogliosis.<h4>Methods</h4>Bone marrow derived rat MSCs were induced neural differentiation and transplanted after acute SCI rats. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) and neuro-inflammatory pathway were analyzed for acute astrogliosis at 1, 3 and 7 d after SCI in RT-PCR- and western blot analysis. Functional outcome was assessed serially at postoperative 1 d and weekly for 4 weeks. Histopathologic analysis was undertaken at 7 and 28 d following injury in immunohistochemistry.<h4>Results</h4>Transplantation of MSCs decreased IL-1<i>α</i>, CXCL-2, CXCL-10, TNF-<i>α</i> and TGF-<i>β</i> in a rat model of contusive SCI. Protein level of NF-<i>κ</i>B p65 was slightly decreased while level of STAT-3 was increased. In immunohistochemistry, MSC transplantation increased acute astrogliosis whereas attenuated scar formation with increased sparing white matter of spinal cord lesions. In RT-PCR analysis, mRNA levels of MMP2 was significantly increased in MSC transplanted rats. In BBB locomotor scale, the rats of MSC treated group exhibited improvement of functional recovery.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Transplantation of MSC reduces the inflammatory reaction and modulates astrogliosis via MMP2/STAT3 pathway leading to improve functional recovery after SCI in rats.