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Characterisation of human mesenchymal stem cells following differentiation into Schwann cell-like cells
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB), Anatomy.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB), Anatomy.
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2009 (English)In: Neuroscience research, ISSN 0168-0102, E-ISSN 1872-8111, Vol. 64, no 1, 41-49 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Cell-based therapies provide a clinically applicable and available alternative to nerve autografts. Our previous studies have characterised rat-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and here we have investigated the phenotypic, molecular and functional characteristics of human-derived MSC (hMSC) differentiated along a Schwann cell lineage. The hMSC were isolated from healthy human donors and the identity of the undifferentiated hMSC was confirmed by the detection of MSC specific cells surface markers. The hMSC were differentiated along a glial cell lineage using an established cocktail of growth factors including glial growth factor-2. Following differentiation, the hMSC expressed the key Schwann cell (SC) markers at both the transcriptional and translational level. More importantly, we show the functional effect of hMSC on neurite outgrowth using an in vitro co-culture model system with rat-derived primary sensory neurons. The number of DRG sprouting neurites was significantly enhanced in the presence of differentiated hMSC; neurite length and density (branching) were also increased. These results provide evidence that hMSC can undergo molecular, morphological and functional changes to adopt a SC-like behaviour and, therefore, could be suitable as SC substitutes for nerve repair in clinical applications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 64, no 1, 41-49 p.
Keyword [en]
Bone marrow stromal cell; Schwann cell; Glial cell; Differentiation; Dorsal root ganglion; Glial growth factor
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-24123DOI: 10.1016/j.neures.2009.01.010PubMedID: 19428682OAI: diva2:226107
Available from: 2009-06-30 Created: 2009-06-30 Last updated: 2011-09-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Mesenchymal stem cells for repair of the peripheral and central nervous system
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mesenchymal stem cells for repair of the peripheral and central nervous system
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Odlade mesenkymala stamcellers användning vid skador på perifera och centrala nervsystemet
Abstract [en]

Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have been shown to provide neuroprotection after transplantation into the injured nervous system. The present thesis investigates whether adult human and rat MSC differentiated along a Schwann cell lineage could increase their expression of neurotrophic factors and promote regeneration after transplantation into the injured peripheral nerve and spinal cord.

Human and rat mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC and rMSC) expressed characteristic stem cell surface markers, mRNA transcripts for different neurotrophic factors and demonstrated multi-lineage differentiation potential. Following treatment with a cocktail of growth factors, the hMSC and rMSC expressed typical Schwann cells markers at both the transcriptional and translational level and significantly increased production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

Age and time in culture are of relevance for clinical settings and growth-promoting effects of hMSC from young donors (16-18 years) and old donors (67-75 years) were compared. Undifferentiated hMSC from both young and old donors increased total neurite length of cultured dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Differentiation of hMSC from the young donors, but not the eldery donors, further enhanced the neurite outgrowth. Undifferentiated hMSC were cultured for eleven weeks in order to examine the effect of in vitro expansion time on neurite outgrowth. hMSC from the young donors maintained their proliferation rate and their ability to enhance neurite outgrowth from DRG neurons.

Using a sciatic nerve injury model, a 10mm gap was bridged with either an empty tubular fibrin glue conduit, or conduits containing hMSC, with and without cyclosporine treatment. Cells were labeled with PKH26 prior to transplantation. At 3 weeks after injury the conduits with cells and immunosuppression increased regeneration compared with an empty conduit. PKH26 labeled human cells survived in the rat model and the inflammatory reaction could be suppressed by cyclosporine.

After cervical C4 hemisection, BrdU/GFP-labeled rMSC were injected into the lateral funiculus rostral and caudal to the spinal cord lesion site. Spinal cords were analyzed 2-8 weeks after transplantation. Transplanted MSC remained at the injection sites and in the trauma zone for several weeks and were often associated with numerous neurofilament-positive axons. Transplanted rMSC induced up-regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor in spinal cord tissue rostral to the injury site, but did not affect expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Although rMSC provided neuroprotection for rubrospinal neurons and significantly attenuated astroglial and microglial reaction, cell transplantation caused aberrant sprouting of calcitonin gene-related peptide immunostained sensory axons in the dorsal horn.

In summary these results demonstrate that both rat and human MSC can be differentiated towards the glial cell lineage, and show functional characteristics similar to Schwann cells. hMSC from the young donors represent a more favorable source for neurotransplantation since they maintain proliferation rate and preserve their growth-promoting effects in long-term cultures. The data also suggest that differentiated MSC increase expression of neurotrophic factors and support regeneration after peripheral nerve and spinal cord injury.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2011. 59 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1433
Bone marrow-derived stromal cells, Schwann cells, Peripheral nerve injury, Spinal cord injury, Neurotransplantation
National Category
Research subject
Human Anatomy; cellforskning
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-47746 (URN)978-91-7459-240-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-10-20, BiA201, Biologihuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Available from: 2011-09-29 Created: 2011-09-28 Last updated: 2011-09-29Bibliographically approved

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