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See detailSpinal Cord Injuries – How Could Adult Mesenchymal and Neural Crest Stem Cells Take Up the Challenge?
Neirinckx, Virginie ULg; CANTINIEAUX, Dorothée ULg; Coste, Cécile ULg et al

in Stem Cells (2013)

Since several years, adult/perinatal mesenchymal and neural crest stem cells have been widely used to help experimental animal to recover from spinal cord injury. More interestingly, recent clinical ... [more ▼]

Since several years, adult/perinatal mesenchymal and neural crest stem cells have been widely used to help experimental animal to recover from spinal cord injury. More interestingly, recent clinical trials confirmed the beneficial effect of those stem cells, which improve functional score of patients suffering from such lesions. However, a complete understanding of the mechanisms of stem cell-induced recovery is seriously lacking. Indeed, spinal cord injuries gathered a wide range of biochemical and physiopathological events (such as inflammation, oxidative stress, axonal damage, demyelination, etc) and the genuine healing process after cell transplantation is not sufficiently defined. This review aims to sum up recent data about cell therapy in spinal cord lesions using mesenchymal or recently identified neural crest stem cells, by describing precisely which physiopathological parameter is affected and the exact processes underlying the observed changes. Overall, although significant advances are acknowledged, it seems that further deep mechanistic investigation is needed for the development of optimized and efficient cell-based therapy protocols. [less ▲]

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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 detailMesenchymal Stem Cell Graft Improves Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury in Adult Rats through Neurotrophic and Pro-Angiogenic Actions.
Quertainmont, Renaud; Cantinieaux, Dorothée ULg; Botman, Olivier et al

in PLoS ONE (2012), 7(6), 39500

Numerous strategies have been managed to improve functional recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI) but an optimal strategy doesn't exist yet. Actually, it is the complexity of the injured spinal cord ... [more ▼]

Numerous strategies have been managed to improve functional recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI) but an optimal strategy doesn't exist yet. Actually, it is the complexity of the injured spinal cord pathophysiology that begets the multifactorial approaches assessed to favour tissue protection, axonal regrowth and functional recovery. In this context, it appears that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) could take an interesting part. The aim of this study is to graft MSCs after a spinal cord compression injury in adult rat to assess their effect on functional recovery and to highlight their mechanisms of action. We found that in intravenously grafted animals, MSCs induce, as early as 1 week after the graft, an improvement of their open field and grid navigation scores compared to control animals. At the histological analysis of their dissected spinal cord, no MSCs were found within the host despite their BrdU labelling performed before the graft, whatever the delay observed: 7, 14 or 21 days. However, a cytokine array performed on spinal cord extracts 3 days after MSC graft reveals a significant increase of NGF expression in the injured tissue. Also, a significant tissue sparing effect of MSC graft was observed. Finally, we also show that MSCs promote vascularisation, as the density of blood vessels within the lesioned area was higher in grafted rats. In conclusion, we bring here some new evidences that MSCs most likely act throughout their secretions and not via their own integration/differentiation within the host tissue. [less ▲]

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