Robust CNS regeneration after complete spinal cord transection using aligned poly-L-lactic acid microfibers.
ABSTRACT Following spinal cord injury, axons fail to regenerate without exogenous intervention. In this study we report that aligned microfiber-based grafts foster robust regeneration of vascularized CNS tissue. Film, random, and aligned microfiber-based conduits were grafted into a 3 mm thoracic rat spinal cord gap created by complete transection. Over the course of 4 weeks, microtopography presented by aligned or random poly-L-lactic acid microfibers facilitated infiltration of host tissue, and the initial 3 mm gap was closed by endogenous cell populations. This bulk tissue response was composed of regenerating axons accompanied by morphologically aligned astrocytes. Aligned fibers promoted long distance (2055 ± 150 μm), rostrocaudal axonal regeneration, significantly greater than random fiber (1162 ± 87 μm) and film (413 ± 199 μm) controls. Retrograde tracing indicated that regenerating axons originated from propriospinal neurons of the rostral spinal cord, and supraspinal neurons of the reticular formation, red nucleus, raphe and vestibular nuclei. Our findings outline a form of regeneration within the central nervous system that holds important implications for regeneration biology.
- SourceAvailable from: Ulises Gomez-Pinedo11/2014;
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ABSTRACT: Following central nervous system (CNS) injury, activated astrocytes form glial scars, which inhibit axonal regeneration, leading to long-term functional deficits. Engineered nanoscale scaffolds guide cell growth and enhance regeneration within models of spinal cord injury. However, the effects of micro-/nanosize scaffolds on astrocyte function are not well characterized. In this study, a high throughput (HTP) microscale platform was developed to study astrocyte cell behavior on micropatterned surfaces containing 1 μm spacing grooves with a depth of 250 or 500 nm. Significant changes in cell and nuclear elongation and alignment on patterned surfaces were observed, compared to on flat surfaces. The cytoskeleton components (particularly actin filaments and focal adhesions) and nucleus-centrosome axis were aligned along the grooved direction as well. More interestingly, astrocytes on micropatterned surfaces showed enhanced mitochondrial activity with lysosomes localized at the lamellipodia of the cells, accompanied by enhanced adenosine triphosphate (ATP) release and calcium activities. These data indicate that the lysosome-mediated ATP exocytosis and calcium signaling may play an important role in astrocytic responses to substrate topology. These new findings have furthered our understanding of the biomechanical regulation of astrocyte cell-substrate interactions, and may benefit the optimization of scaffold design for CNS healing.Scientific reports. 01/2015; 5:7847.
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ABSTRACT: Tissue engineering strategies for spinal cord repair are a primary focus of translational medicine after spinal cord injury (SCI). Many tissue engineering strategies employ three-dimensional scaffolds, which are made of biodegradable materials and have microstructure incorporated with viable cells and bioactive molecules to promote new tissue generation and functional recovery after SCI. It is therefore important to develop an imaging system that visualizes both the microstructure of three-dimensional scaffolds and their degradation process after SCI. Here, X-ray phase-contrast computed tomography imaging based on the Talbot grating interferometer is described and it is shown how it can visualize the polyglycolic acid scaffold, including its microfibres, after implantation into the injured spinal cord. Furthermore, X-ray phase-contrast computed tomography images revealed that degradation occurred from the end to the centre of the braided scaffold in the 28 days after implantation into the injured spinal cord. The present report provides the first demonstration of an imaging technique that visualizes both the microstructure and degradation of biodegradable scaffolds in SCI research. X-ray phase-contrast imaging based on the Talbot grating interferometer is a versatile technique that can be used for a broad range of preclinical applications in tissue engineering strategies.Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 01/2015; 22(Pt 1):136-42. · 2.19 Impact Factor