Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 467–477 | Cite as

Effects of SDF-1/CXCR4 on the Repair of Traumatic Brain Injury in Rats by Mediating Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

  • Quan-Jun Deng
  • Xiao-Feng Xu
  • Jing RenEmail author
Original Research


Our study aims to investigate the effects of the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis on the repair of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in rats by mediating bone marrow derived from mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). Healthy male SD rats were collected, their tibiofibulars were removed, cultured, and BMSCs were collected. The expression of cell-surface molecular proteins was examined using flow cytometry. The mRNA and protein expression of CXCR4 in cells were tested using qRT-PCR and western blotting analysis. An electronic brain injury instrument was utilized to build TBI rat models and each rat was assigned into the experiment, positive control and control groups (10 rats in each group). The morris water maze was used to calculate the escape latency and number of times rats in each group crossed the platform. Neurological severity scores (NSS) was calculated to evaluate the recovery of neurological functioning. The distribution of neuronal nuclear antigens was detected using double-labeling immunohistochemistry. The morphological changes in the hippocampal neuronal and the number of BrdU-positive cells were observed through Nissl’s staining and high magnification. The mRNA and protein expressions of CXCR4 were gradually increased as SDF-1 concentration increased. NGF and BDNF positive cells were expressed in each group. The distribution of neuronal nuclear antigens in the experiment group was elevated compared to the control and positive control groups. Among the three groups, the experimental group had the shortest escape latency and the highest number platform crossings. The difference in NSS among the three groups was significant. The experimental group had better cell morphology and a higher number of BrdU-positive cells than the other groups. The present study demonstrates that transplanting BMSCs with SDF-1-induced CXCR4 expression can promote the repair of TBI. This is expected to become a new treatment regimen for TBI.


SDF-1 CXCR4 Traumatic brain injury Bone mesenchymal stem cells and cell transplantation 



Traumatic brain injury


Nerve growth factor


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor


Stromal cell-derived factor-l


Chemotaxis cytokine receptor-4


Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells




Fetal bovine serum


Optical density


Polyvinylidene difluoride


Bovine serum albumin


Neurological severity score



The authors want to show their appreciation to the reviewers for their helpful comments.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryTianjin Medical University General HospitalTianjinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Clinical LaboratoryFudan University Shanghai Cancer CenterShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of OncologyShanghai Medical College of Fudan UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Medical LaboratoryTianjin Medical University General HospitalTianjinPeople’s Republic of China

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