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Adv Sci (Weinh) ; 6(22): 1901240, 2019 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31763143


Tissue engineering produces constructs with defined functions for the targeted treatment of damaged tissue. A complete spinal cord injury (SCI) model is generated in canines to test whether in vitro constructed neural network (NN) tissues can relay the excitatory signal across the lesion gap to the caudal spinal cord. Established protocols are used to construct neural stem cell (NSC)-derived NN tissue characterized by a predominantly neuronal population with robust trans-synaptic activities and myelination. The NN tissue is implanted into the gap immediately following complete transection SCI of canines at the T10 spinal cord segment. The data show significant motor recovery of paralyzed pelvic limbs, as evaluated by Olby scoring and cortical motor evoked potential (CMEP) detection. The NN tissue survives in the lesion area with neuronal phenotype maintenance, improves descending and ascending nerve fiber regeneration, and synaptic integration with host neural circuits that allow it to serve as a neuronal relay to transmit excitatory electrical signal across the injured area to the caudal spinal cord. These results suggest that tissue-engineered NN grafts can relay the excitatory signal in the completely transected canine spinal cord, providing a promising strategy for SCI treatment in large animals, including humans.

Stem Cell Reports ; 12(2): 274-289, 2019 02 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30661994


The hostile environment of an injured spinal cord makes it challenging to achieve higher viability in a grafted tissue-engineered neural network used to reconstruct the spinal cord circuit. Here, we investigate whether cell survival and synaptic transmission within an NT-3 and TRKC gene-overexpressing neural stem cell-derived neural network scaffold (NN) transplanted into transected spinal cord could be promoted by electroacupuncture (EA) through improving the microenvironment. Our results showed that EA facilitated the cell survival, neuronal differentiation, and synapse formation of a transplanted NN. Pseudorabies virus tracing demonstrated that EA strengthened synaptic integration of the transplanted NN with the host neural circuit. The combination therapy also promoted axonal regeneration, spinal conductivity, and functional recovery. The findings highlight EA as a potential and safe supplementary therapeutic strategy to reinforce the survival and synaptogenesis of a transplanted NN as a neuronal relay to bridge the two severed ends of an injured spinal cord.

Adv Sci (Weinh) ; 5(9): 1800261, 2018 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30250785


Tissue engineering-based neural construction holds promise in providing organoids with defined differentiation and therapeutic potentials. Here, a bioengineered transplantable spinal cord-like tissue (SCLT) is assembled in vitro by simulating the white matter and gray matter composition of the spinal cord using neural stem cell-based tissue engineering technique. Whether the organoid would execute targeted repair in injured spinal cord is evaluated. The integrated SCLT, assembled by white matter-like tissue (WMLT) module and gray matter-like tissue (GMLT) module, shares architectural, phenotypic, and functional similarities to the adult rat spinal cord. Organotypic coculturing with the dorsal root ganglion or muscle cells shows that the SCLT embraces spinal cord organogenesis potentials to establish connections with the targets, respectively. Transplantation of the SCLT into the transected spinal cord results in a significant motor function recovery of the paralyzed hind limbs in rats. Additionally, targeted spinal cord tissue repair is achieved by the modular design of SCLT, as evidenced by an increased remyelination in the WMLT area and an enlarged innervation in the GMLT area. More importantly, the pro-regeneration milieu facilitates the formation of a neuronal relay by the donor neurons, allowing the conduction of descending and ascending neural inputs.

Biomaterials ; 181: 15-34, 2018 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30071379


We have reported previously that bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-derived neural network scaffold not only survived in the injury/graft site of spinal cord but also served as a "neuronal relay" that was capable of improving the limb motor function in a complete spinal cord injury (SCI) rat model. It remained to be explored whether such a strategy was effective for repairing the large spinal cord tissue loss as well as restoring motor function in larger animals. We have therefore extended in this study to construct a canine MSC-derived neural network tissue in vitro with the aim to evaluate its efficacy in treating adult beagle dog subjected to a complete transection of the spinal cord. The results showed that after co-culturing with neurotropin-3 overexpressing Schwann cells in a gelatin sponge scaffold for 14 days, TrkC overexpressing MSCs differentiated into neuron-like cells. In the latter, some cells appeared to make contacts with each other through synapse-like structures with trans-synaptic electrical activities. Remarkably, the SCI canines receiving the transplantation of the MSC-derived neural network tissue demonstrated a gradual restoration of paralyzed limb motor function, along with improved electrophysiological presentation when compared with the control group. Magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging showed that the canines receiving the MSC-derived neural network tissue exhibited robust nerve tract regeneration in the injury/graft site. Histological analysis showed that some of the MSC-derived neuron-like cells had survived in the injury/graft site up to 6.5 months. Implantation of MSC-derived neural network tissue significantly improved the microenvironment of the injury/graft site. It is noteworthy that a variable number of them had integrated with the regenerating corticospinal tract nerve fibers and 5-HT nerve fibers through formation of synapse-like contacts. The results suggest that the transplanted MSC-derived neural network tissue may serve as a structural and functional "neuronal relay" to restore the paralyzed limb motor function in the canine with complete SCI.

Extremidades/inervação , Células-Tronco Mesenquimais/citologia , Traumatismos da Medula Espinal/terapia , Animais , Células Cultivadas , Imagem de Tensor de Difusão , Cães , Extremidades/fisiologia , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino , Células-Tronco Mesenquimais/fisiologia , Neurônios Motores/citologia , Neurônios Motores/fisiologia , Rede Nervosa , Regeneração Nervosa/fisiologia , Células de Schwann