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Presenter: Presenter: Christine Radtke, MD, PhD
Co-Authors: Matthes SM; Janssen I; Reimers K; Kocsis JD; Vogt PM
Hannover Medical School

Cell-based therapies are being considered in clinical trials for a number of neurological diseased including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, Parkinson s disease and stroke. The rationale is that cells could serve as a replacement therapy, provide neuroprotection, by production of chemokines and neurotrophins. In this context, adipose tissue derived stromal cells (ASCs), in contrary, hold intriguing advantages: The original donor tissue is readily available in a large scale.Previously published data showed successful repair direct transplantation of ASCs into injured peripheral nerves. Here in the presented study, the potential of adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells to provide a permissive environment to enhance axonal regenerating and myelinating in peripheral nerve injury after systemic delivery by intravenous injection was investigated.

Methods: Adipose derived stromal cells derived from adult rats were cultured and characterized in vitro by using stem cell markers vimentin, CD44 and CD90 (Fig. 1). Sciatic nerves in rats were lesioned by nerve crush (n=20) and then transplanted into the transection site. The injured and cell transplanted animals underwent weekly footprint analysis at 7, 14 and 21 days and the sciatic functional index was determined. 21 days after surgery, the nerve were removed and prepared for histology.

Results: The cellular distribution of the transplanted cells and the extent of axonal regeneration was assessed by histology. The intravenously transplanted cells could be indentified within the lesion site in the sciatic nerves indiocating a strong homing effect into the lesion. The systematically transplanted cells survived and integrated into the repaired nerves and cells aligned with neurofilament identified axons bridging the lesion site. These results suggest that intravenous presentation of ASCs at the time of nerve injury enhances regeneration and improves functional outcome. Even a modest improvement in nerve regeneration could have significant clinical implications for reconstructive nerve surgery

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