Repair of Peripheral Nerve Sensory Impairments via the Transplantation of Bone Marrow Neural Tissue-Committed Stem Cell-Derived Sensory Neurons

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The present study aimed to investigate the efficacy of transplantation of bone marrow neural tissue-committed stem cell-derived sensory neuron-like cells for the repair of peripheral nerve sensory impairments in rats. Bone marrow was isolated and cultured to obtain the neural tissue-committed stem cells (NTCSCs), and the differentiation of these cells into sensory neuron-like cells was induced. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs), bone marrow NTCSCs, and bone marrow NTCSC-derived sensory neurons (NTCSC-SNs) were transplanted by microinjection into the L4 and L5 dorsal root ganglions (DRGs) in an animal model of sensory defect. On the 2nd, 4th, 8th, and 12th week after the transplantation, the effects of the three types of stem cells on the repair of the sensory functional defect were analyzed via behavioral observation, sensory function evaluation, electrophysiological examination of the sciatic nerve, and morphological observation of the DRGs. The results revealed that the transplanted BMSCs, NTCSCs, and NTCSC-SNs were all able to repair the sensory nerves. In addition, the effect of the NTCSC-SNs was significantly better than that of the other two types of stem cells. The general posture and gait of the animals in the sensory defect model exhibited evident improvement over time. Plantar temperature sensitivity and pain sensitivity gradually recovered, and the sensation latency was reduced, with faster sensory nerve conduction velocity. Transplantation of NTCSC-SNs can improve the repair of peripheral nerve sensory defects in rats.

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We thank all members of the department of human anatomy of Second Military Medical University for helpful discussions and comments on the manuscript.


This work was supported in part by the Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation, China (ZR2014HM009,2014GSF118177, BS2015SW021, 2013ws0306), Natural Science Foundation of China (81271717, 81571821) and The army subject funds of China(AWS14C001, 13CXZ028).

Author information

FH and CZ carried out the concepts. ZY, NX and NZ participated in the design of this study and performed the statistical analysis. These three authors contributed to this work equally and should be considered as co-first authors. YX, ZW, SL, DZ, carried out the study and collected important background information. ZY, NX, and NZ drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Correspondence to Fei Huang or Chuansen Zhang.

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Yu, Z., Xu, N., Zhang, N. et al. Repair of Peripheral Nerve Sensory Impairments via the Transplantation of Bone Marrow Neural Tissue-Committed Stem Cell-Derived Sensory Neurons. Cell Mol Neurobiol 39, 341–353 (2019) doi:10.1007/s10571-019-00650-2

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  • Neural tissue-committed stem cells
  • Sensory neurons
  • Dorsal root ganglion
  • Transplantation
  • Neural repair