Peripheral nerve‐derived stem cell spheroids induce functional recovery and repair after spinal cord injury in rodents

Hye Lan Lee, Chung Eun Yeum, Hye Yeong Lee, Jinsoo Oh, Jong Tae Kim, Won Jin Lee, Yoon Ha, Young Il Yang, Keung Nyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Stem cell therapy is one of the most promising candidate treatments for spinal cord injury. Research has shown optimistic results for this therapy, but clinical limitations remain, including poor viability, engraftment, and differentiation. Here, we isolated novel peripheral nerve‐derived stem cells (PNSCs) from adult peripheral nerves with similar characteristics to neural‐crest stem cells. These PNSCs expressed neural‐crest specific markers and showed multilineage differentiation potential into Schwann cells, neuroglia, neurons, and mesodermal cells. In addition, PNSCs showed therapeutic potential by releasing the neurotrophic factors, including glial cell‐line‐derived neurotrophic factor, insulin‐like growth factor, nerve growth factor, and neurotrophin‐3. PNSC abilities were also enhanced by their development into spheroids which secreted neurotrophic factors several times more than non‐spheroid PNSCs and expressed several types of extra cellular matrix. These features suggest that the potential for these PNSC spheroids can overcome their limitations. In an animal spinal cord injury (SCI) model, these PNSC spheroids induced functional recovery and neuronal regeneration. These PNSC spheroids also reduced the neuropathic pain which accompanies SCI after remyelination. These PNSC spheroids may represent a new therapeutic approach for patients suffering from SCI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4141
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Korea (grant number: HI18C0699).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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