Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 1229–1242 | Cite as

Combined effects of rat Schwann cells and 17β-estradiol in a spinal cord injury model

  • Zeinab Namjoo
  • Fateme Moradi
  • Roya Aryanpour
  • Abbas Piryaei
  • Mohammad Taghi Joghataei
  • Yusef Abbasi
  • Amir Hosseini
  • Sajad Hassanzadeh
  • Fatemeh Ranjbar Taklimie
  • Cordian Beyer
  • Adib Zendedel
Original Article


Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating traumatic event which burdens the affected individuals and the health system. Schwann cell (SC) transplantation is a promising repair strategy after SCI. However, a large number of SCs do not survive following transplantation. Previous studies demonstrated that 17β-estradiol (E2) protects different cell types and reduces tissue damage in SCI experimental animal model. In the current study, we evaluated the protective potential of E2 on SCs in vitro and investigated whether the combination of hormonal and SC therapeutic strategy has a better effect on the outcome after SCI. Primary SC cultures were incubated with E2 for 72 h. In a subsequent experiment, thoracic contusion SCI was induced in male rats followed by sustained administration of E2 or vehicle. Eight days after SCI, DiI-labeled SCs were transplanted into the injury epicenter in vehicle and E2-treated animals. The combinatory regimen decreased neurological and behavioral deficits and protected neurons and oligodendrocytes in comparison to vehicle rats. Moreover, E2 and SC significantly decreased the number of Iba-1+ (microglia) and GFAP+ cells (astrocyte) in the SCI group. In addition, we found a significant reduction of mitochondrial fission-markers (Fis1) and an increase of fusion-markers (Mfn1 and Mfn2) in the injured spinal cord after E2 and SC treatment. These data demonstrated that E2 protects SCs against hypoxia-induced SCI and improves the survival of transplanted SCs.


Astrogliosis Estrogen Microgliosis Mitochondrial dysfunction Schwann cells Spinal cord injury 



The study was supported by a grant from the Iran University of Medical sciences and health services, Tehran, Iran and a START grant from the Medical Faculty of the RWTH Aachen, Germany (AZ).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interests



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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zeinab Namjoo
    • 1
  • Fateme Moradi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Roya Aryanpour
    • 3
  • Abbas Piryaei
    • 4
    • 5
  • Mohammad Taghi Joghataei
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yusef Abbasi
    • 1
  • Amir Hosseini
    • 1
  • Sajad Hassanzadeh
    • 1
  • Fatemeh Ranjbar Taklimie
    • 6
  • Cordian Beyer
    • 6
  • Adib Zendedel
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Faculty of MedicineIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Faculty of MedicineIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Anatomy, Faculty of MedicineYasuj University of Medical SciencesYasujIran
  4. 4.Department of Biology and Anatomical Sciences, School of MedicineShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  5. 5.Department of Tissue Engineering and Applied Cell Sciences, School of Advanced Technologies in MedicineShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  6. 6.Institute of NeuroanatomyRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  7. 7.Department of Anatomy, School of MedicineTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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