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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 511; doi:10.3390/ijms18030511

Transplantation of Embryonic Spinal Cord Derived Cells Helps to Prevent Muscle Atrophy after Peripheral Nerve Injury

1
School of Biomedical Sciences, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, 21 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China
3
Joint Laboratory for CNS Regeneration, Jinan University and The University of Hong Kong, GHM Institute of CNS Regeneration, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510000, China
4
Guangdong Engineering Research Center of Stem Cell Storage and Clinical Application, Saliai Stem Cell Science and Technology, Guangzhou 510000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Xiaofeng Jia
Received: 26 December 2016 / Revised: 10 February 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 27 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peripheral Nerve Regeneration: From Bench to Bedside)
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Abstract

Injuries to peripheral nerves are frequent in serious traumas and spinal cord injuries. In addition to surgical approaches, other interventions, such as cell transplantation, should be considered to keep the muscles in good condition until the axons regenerate. In this study, E14.5 rat embryonic spinal cord fetal cells and cultured neural progenitor cells from different spinal cord segments were injected into transected musculocutaneous nerve of 200–300 g female Sprague Dawley (SD) rats, and atrophy in biceps brachii was assessed. Both kinds of cells were able to survive, extend their axons towards the muscle and form neuromuscular junctions that were functional in electromyographic studies. As a result, muscle endplates were preserved and atrophy was reduced. Furthermore, we observed that the fetal cells had a better effect in reducing the muscle atrophy compared to the pure neural progenitor cells, whereas lumbar cells were more beneficial compared to thoracic and cervical cells. In addition, fetal lumbar cells were used to supplement six weeks delayed surgical repair after the nerve transection. Cell transplantation helped to preserve the muscle endplates, which in turn lead to earlier functional recovery seen in behavioral test and electromyography. In conclusion, we were able to show that embryonic spinal cord derived cells, especially the lumbar fetal cells, are beneficial in the treatment of peripheral nerve injuries due to their ability to prevent the muscle atrophy. View Full-Text
Keywords: axonal injury; cell transplantation; muscle atrophy; peripheral nerve injury; spinal cord derived cells; fetal neurons; neural progenitor cells; neuromuscular junctions; delayed nerve repair; functional recovery axonal injury; cell transplantation; muscle atrophy; peripheral nerve injury; spinal cord derived cells; fetal neurons; neural progenitor cells; neuromuscular junctions; delayed nerve repair; functional recovery
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ruven, C.; Li, W.; Li, H.; Wong, W.-M.; Wu, W. Transplantation of Embryonic Spinal Cord Derived Cells Helps to Prevent Muscle Atrophy after Peripheral Nerve Injury. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 511.

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