Human olfactory mesenchymal stromal cell transplants promote remyelination and earlier improvement in gait co‐ordination after spinal cord injury
Autologous cell transplantation is a promising strategy for repair of the injured spinal cord. Here we have studied the repair potential of mesenchymal stromal cells isolated from the human olfactory mucosa after transplantation into a rodent model of incomplete spinal cord injury. Investigation of peripheral type remyelination at the injury site using immunocytochemistry for P0, showed a more extensive distribution in transplanted compared with control animals. In addition to the typical distribution in the dorsal columns (common to all animals), in transplanted animals only, P0 immunolabelling was consistently detected in white matter lateral and ventral to the injury site. Transplanted animals also showed reduced cavitation. Several functional outcome measures including end‐point electrophysiological testing of dorsal column conduction and weekly behavioural testing of BBB, weight bearing and pain, showed no difference between transplanted and control animals. However, gait analysis revealed an earlier recovery of co‐ordination between forelimb and hindlimb stepping in transplanted animals. This improvement in gait may be associated with the enhanced myelination in ventral and lateral white matter, where fibre tracts important for locomotion reside. Autologous transplantation of mesenchymal stromal cells from the olfactory mucosa may therefore be therapeutically beneficial in the treatment of spinal cord injury. GLIA 2017 GLIA 2017;65:639–656
Main Points Human olfactory mucosa mesenchymal stromal cells were transplanted into a rodent contusion model of spinal cord injury. Transplanted animals showed enhanced P0 remyelination of spared white matter and earlier improvement in gait co‐ordination.
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