Traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects 1.9 million Americans, including blast TBI that is the signature injury of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Our project investigated whether stromal vascular fraction (SVF) can assist in post-TBI recovery. We utilized strong acoustic waves (5.0 bar) to induce TBI in the cortex of adult Rowett Nude (RNU) rats. One hour post-TBI, harvested human SVF (500,000 cells suspended in 0.5 mL lactated Ringers) was incubated with Q-Tracker cell label and administered into tail veins of RNU rats. For comparison, we utilized rats that received SVF 72 h post-TBI, and a control group that received lactated Ringers solution. Rotarod and water maze assays were used to monitor motor coordination and spatial memories. Rats treated immediately after TBI showed no signs of motor skills and memory regression. SVF treatment 72 h post-TBI enabled the rats maintain their motor skills, while controls treated with lactated Ringers were 25% worse statistically in both assays. Histological analysis showed the presence of Q-dot labeled human cells near the infarct in both SVF treatment groups; however, labeled cells were twice as numerous in the one hour group. Our study suggests that immediate treatment with SVF would serve as potential therapeutic agents in TBI.
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