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See detailConditioned Medium from Bone marrow-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells improves recovery after Spinal Cord Injury in rats: an original strategy to avoid cell transplantation.
CANTINIEAUX, Dorothée ULg; QUERTAINMONT, Renaud; BLACHER, Silvia ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(8), 69515

Spinal cord injury triggers irreversible loss of motor and sensory functions. Numerous strategies aiming at repairing the injured spinal cord have been studied. Among them, the use of bone marrow-derived ... [more ▼]

Spinal cord injury triggers irreversible loss of motor and sensory functions. Numerous strategies aiming at repairing the injured spinal cord have been studied. Among them, the use of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) is promising. Indeed, these cells possess interesting properties to modulate CNS environment and allow axon regeneration and functional recovery. Unfortunately, BMSC survival and differentiation within the host spinal cord remain poor, and these cells have been found to have various adverse effects when grafted in other pathological contexts. Moreover, paracrine-mediated actions have been proposed to explain the beneficial effects of BMSC transplantation after spinal cord injury. We thus decided to deliver BMSC-released factors to spinal cord injured rats and to study, in parallel, their properties in vitro. We show that, in vitro, BMSC-conditioned medium (BMSC-CM) protects neurons from apoptosis, activates macrophages and is pro-angiogenic. In vivo, BMSC-CM administered after spinal cord contusion improves motor recovery. Histological analysis confirms the pro-angiogenic action of BMSC-CM, as well as a tissue protection effect. Finally, the characterization of BMSC-CM by cytokine array and ELISA identified trophic factors as well as cytokines likely involved in the beneficial observed effects. In conclusion, our results support the paracrine-mediated mode of action of BMSCs and raise the possibility to develop a cell-free therapeutic approach. [less ▲]

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See detailSpinal cord injury and its treatment:current management and experimental perspectives
SCHOLTES, Félix ULg; BROOK, Gary; MARTIN, Didier ULg

in Advances and Technical Standards in Neurosurgery (2012), 38

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See detailPost-mortem assessment of rat spinal cord injury and white matter sparing using inversion recovery-supported proton density magnetic resonance imaging
Scholtes, Félix ULg; Theunissen, E.; Phan Ba, Remy ULg et al

in Spinal Cord : The Official Journal of the International Medical Society of Paraplegia (2011)

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See detailNeural differentiation potential of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells: misleading marker gene expression
MONTZKA, Katrin; Lassonczyk, Nina; Tschöke, Beate et al

in BMC Neuroscience (2009), 10

Background: In contrast to pluripotent embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells have been considered to be multipotent, being somewhat more restricted in their differentiation capacity and only giving rise ... [more ▼]

Background: In contrast to pluripotent embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells have been considered to be multipotent, being somewhat more restricted in their differentiation capacity and only giving rise to cell types related to their tissue of origin. Several studies, however, have reported that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are capable of transdifferentiating to neural cell types, effectively crossing normal lineage restriction boundaries. Such reports have been based on the detection of neural-related proteins by the differentiated MSCs. In order to assess the potential of human adult MSCs to undergo true differentiation to a neural lineage and to determine the degree of homogeneity between donor samples, we have used RT-PCR and immunocytochemistry to investigate the basal expression of a range of neural related mRNAs and proteins in populations of non-differentiated MSCs obtained from 4 donors. Results: The expression analysis revealed that several of the commonly used marker genes from other studies like nestin, Enolase2 and microtubule associated protein 1b (MAP1b) are already expressed by undifferentiated human MSCs. Furthermore, mRNA for some of the neural-related transcription factors, e.g. Engrailed-1 and Nurr1 were also strongly expressed. However, several other neural-related mRNAs (e.g. DRD2, enolase2, NFL and MBP) could be identified, but not in all donor samples. Similarly, synaptic vesicle-related mRNA, STX1A could only be detected in 2 of the 4 undifferentiated donor hMSC samples. More significantly, each donor sample revealed a unique expression pattern, demonstrating a significant variation of marker expression. Conclusion: The present study highlights the existence of an inter-donor variability of expression of neuralrelated markers in human MSC samples that has not previously been described. This donor-related heterogeneity might influence the reproducibility of transdifferentiation protocols as well as contributing to the ongoing controversy about differentiation capacities of MSCs. Therefore, further studies need to consider the differences between donor samples prior to any treatment as well as the possibility of harvesting donor cells that may be inappropriate for transplantation strategies. [less ▲]

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See detailRapid, postmortem 9.4 T MRI of spinal cord injury: correlation with histology and survival times.
Scholtes, Félix ULg; Phan-Ba, Rémy ULg; Theunissen, Evi et al

in Journal of Neuroscience Methods (2008), 174(2), 157-67

High field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been increasingly used to assess experimental spinal cord injury (SCI). In the present investigation, after partial spinal cord injury and excision of the ... [more ▼]

High field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been increasingly used to assess experimental spinal cord injury (SCI). In the present investigation, after partial spinal cord injury and excision of the whole spine, pathological changes of the spinal cord were studied in spinal cord-spine blocks, from the acute to the chronic state (24 h to 5 months). Using proton density (PD) weighted imaging parameters at a magnetic field strength of 9.4 tesla (T), acquisition times ranging from <1 to 10 h per specimen were used. High in-plane pixel resolution (68 and 38 microm, respectively) was obtained, as well as high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), which is important for optimal contrast settings. The quality of the resulting MR images was demonstrated by comparison with histology. The cord and the lesion were shown in their anatomical surroundings, detecting cord swelling in the acute phase (24 h to 1 week) and cord atrophy at the chronic stage. Haemorrhage was detected as hypo-intense signal. Oedema, necrosis and scarring were hyper-intense but could not be distinguished. Histology confirmed that the anatomical delimitation of the lesion extent by MRI was precise, both with high and moderate resolution. The present investigation thus demonstrates the precision of spinal cord MRI at different survival delays after compressive partial SCI and establishes efficient imaging parameters for postmortem PD MRI. [less ▲]

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See detailRepetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation improves open field locomotor recovery after low but not high thoracic spinal cord compression-injury in adult rats
Poirrier, Anne-Lise ULg; Nyssen, Yves; Scholtes, Félix ULg et al

in Journal of Neuroscience Research (2004), 75(2), 253-261

Electromagnetic fields are able to promote axonal regeneration in vitro and in vivo. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is used routinely in neuropsychiatric conditions and as an ... [more ▼]

Electromagnetic fields are able to promote axonal regeneration in vitro and in vivo. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is used routinely in neuropsychiatric conditions and as an atraumatic method to activate descending motor pathways. After spinal cord injury, these pathways are disconnected from the spinal locomotor generator, resulting in most of the functional deficit. We have applied daily 10 Hz rTMS for 8 weeks immediately after an incomplete high (T4-5; n = 5) or low (T10-11; n = 6) thoracic closed spinal cord compression -injury in adult rats, using 6 high- and 6 low-lesioned non-stimulated animals as controls. Functional recovery of hindlimbs was assessed using the BBB locomotor rating scale. In the control group, the BBB score was significantly better from the 7th week post-injury in animals lesioned at T4-5 compared to those lesioned at T10-11. rTMS significantly improved locomotor recovery in T10-11-injured rats, but not in rats with a high thoracic injury. In rTMS-treated rats, there was significant positive correlation between final BBB score and grey matter density of serotonergic fibres in the spinal segment just caudal to the lesion. We propose that low thoracic lesions produce a greater functional deficit because they interfere with the locomotor centre and that rTMS is beneficial in such lesions because it activates this central pattern generator, presumably via descending serotonin pathways. The benefits of rTMS shown here suggest strongly that this non-invasive intervention strategy merits consideration for clinical trials in human paraplegics with low spinal cord lesions. (C) 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [less ▲]

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