There have been many efforts to recover neuronal function from spinal cord injuries, but there are some limitations in the treatment of spinal cord injuries. The neural stem cell has been noted for its pluripotency to differentiate into various neural cell types. The human umbilical cord blood cells (HUCBs) are more pluripotent and genetically flexible than bone marrow neural stem cells. The HUCBs could be more frequently used for spinal cord injury treatment in the future. Moderate degree spinal cord injured rats were classified into 3 subgroups, group A: media was injected into the cord injury site, group B: HUCBs were transplanted into the cord injury site, and group C: HUCBs with BDNF (Brain-derived neutrophic factor) were transplanted into the cord injury site. We checked the BBB scores to evaluate the functional recovery in each group at 8 weeks after transplantation. We then, finally checked the neural cell differentiation with double immunofluorescence staining, and we also analyzed the axonal regeneration with retrograde labelling of brain stem neurons by using fluorogold. The HUCBs transplanted group improved, more than the control group at every week after transplantation, and also, the BDNF enabled an improvement of the BBB locomotion scores since the 1 week after its application (P < 0.05). 8 weeks after transplantation, the HUCBs with BDNF transplanted group had more greatly improved BBB scores, than the other groups (P < 0.001). The transplanted HUCBs were differentiated into various neural cells, which were confirmed by double immunoflorescence staining of BrdU and GFAP & MAP-2 staining. The HUCBs and BDNF each have individual positive effects on axonal regeneration. The HUCBs can differentiate into neural cells and induce motor function improvement in the cord injured rat models. Especially, the BDNF has effectiveness for neurological function improvement due to axonal regeneration in the early cord injury stage. Thus the HUCBs and BDNF have recovery effects of a moderate degree for cord injured rats.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology