[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have recently documented that treatment with the alternative biofuel, acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC, 300 mg/kg), as late as 1 h after T10 contusion spinal cord injury (SCI), significantly maintained mitochondrial function 24 h after injury. Here we report that after more severe contusion SCI centered on the L1/L2 segments that are postulated to contain lamina X neurons critical for locomotion (the "central pattern generator"), ALC treatment resulted in significant improvements in acute mitochondrial bioenergetics and long-term hind limb function. Although control-injured rats were only able to achieve slight movements of hind limb joints, ALC-treated animals produced consistent weight-supported plantar steps 1 month after injury. Such landmark behavioral improvements were significantly correlated with increased tissue sparing of both gray and white matter proximal to the injury, as well as preservation of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-positive neurons in lamina X rostral to the injury site. These findings signify that functional improvements with ALC treatment are mediated, in part, by preserved locomotor circuitry rostral to upper lumbar contusion SCI. Based on beneficial effects of ALC on mitochondrial bioenergetics after injury, our collective evidence demonstrate that preventing mitochondrial dysfunction acutely "promotes" neuroprotection that may be associated with the milestone recovery of plantar, weight-supported stepping.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The regenerative capacity of injured adult central nervous system (CNS) tissue is very limited. Specifically, traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) leads to permanent loss of motor and sensory functions below the site of injury, as well as other detrimental complications. A potential regenerative strategy is stem cell transplantation; however, cell survival is typically less than 1%. To improve cell survival, stem cells can be delivered in a biomaterial matrix that provides an environment conducive to survival after transplantation. One major challenge in this approach is to define the biomaterial and cell strategies in vitro. To this end, we investigated both peptide-modification of gellan gum and olfactory ensheathing glia (OEG) on neural stem/progenitor cell (NSPC) fate. To enhance cell adhesion, the gellan gum (GG) was modified using Diels-Alder click chemistry with a fibronectin-derived synthetic peptide (GRGDS). Amino acid analysis demonstrated that approximately 300 nmol of GRGDS was immobilized to each mg of GG. The GG-GRGDS had a profound effect on NSPC morphology and proliferation, distinct from that of NSPCs in GG alone, demonstrating the importance of GRGDS for cell-GG interaction. To further enhance NSPC survival and outgrowth, they were cultured with OEG. Here NSPCs interacted extensively with OEG, demonstrating significantly greater survival and proliferation relative to monocultures of NSPCs. These results suggest that this co-culture strategy of NSPCs with OEG may have therapeutic benefit for SCI repair.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spine stabilization upon spinal cord injury (SCI) is a standard procedure in clinical practice, but rarely employed in experimental models. Moreover, the application of biodegradable biomaterials for this would come as an advantage as it would eliminate the presence of a nondegradable prosthesis within the vertebral bone. Therefore, in the present work, we propose the use of a new biodegradable device specifically developed for spine stabilization in a rat model of SCI. A 3D scaffold based on a blend of starch with polycaprolactone was implanted, replacing delaminated vertebra, in male Wistar rats with a T8-T9 spinal hemisection. The impact of spinal stabilization on the locomotor behavior was then evaluated for a period of 12 weeks. Locomotor evaluation-assessed by Basso, Beatie, and Bresnahan test; rotarod; and open field analysis-revealed that injured rats subjected to spine stabilization significantly improved their motor performance, including higher coordination and rearing activity when compared with SCI rats without stabilization. Histological analysis further revealed that the presence of the scaffolds not only stabilized the area, but also simultaneously prevented the infiltration of the injury site by connective tissue. Overall, these results reveal that SCI stabilization using a biodegradable scaffold at the vertebral bone level leads to an improvement of the motor deficits and is a relevant element for the successful treatment of SCI.
Tissue Engineering Part C Methods 07/2012; · 4.64 Impact Factor
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