Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is a hematopoietic cytokine that stimulates the differentiation and function of hematopoietic cells. GM-CSF has been implicated in nervous system function. The goal of the present study was to understand the effects of hypoxia-induced GM-CSF on neural stem cells (NSCs) in a model of spinal cord injury (SCI). GM-CSF-overexpressing NSCs were engineered utilizing a hypoxia-inducible gene expression plasmid, including an Epo enhancer ahead of an SV promoter (EpoSV-GM-CSF). Cells were then subjected to hypoxia (pO 2, 1%) or a hypoxia-mimicking reagent (CoCl 2) in vitro. The progression of time of GM-CSF expression was tracked in EpoSV-GM-CSF-transfected NSCs. Overexpression of GM-CSF in undifferentiated and differentiated NSCs created resistance to H 2 O 2-induced apoptosis in hypoxia. NSCs transfected with EpoSV-GM-CSF or SV-GM-CSF were transplanted into rats after SCI to assess the effect of GM-CSF on NSC survival and restoration of function. Moreover, a significantly higher amount of surviving NSCs and neuronal differentiation was observed in the EpoSV-GM-CSF-treated group. Significant improvement in locomotor function was also found in this group. Thus, GM-CSF overexpression by the Epo enhancer in hypoxia was beneficial to transplanted NSC survival and to behavioral improvement, pointing toward a possible role for GM-CSF in the treatment of SCI.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology