Human Umbilical Cord-Derived Schwann-Like Cell Transplantation Combined with Neurotrophin-3 Administration in Dyskinesia of Rats with Spinal Cord Injury
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Mesenchymal stem cells are capable of differentiating into Schwann-like cells. In this study, we induced human umbilical-cord mesenchymal stem cells (HUMSCs) in vitro into neurospheres constituted by neural stem-like cells, and further into cells bearing strong morphological, phenotypic and functional resemblances with Schwann-like cells. These HUMSC-derived Schwann-like cells, after grafting into the injured area of the rats’ spinal cord injury (SCI), showed a partial therapeutic effect in terms of improving the motor function. Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) was reported to improve the local microenvironment of the grafted cells, and we, therefore, further tested the effect of Schwann-like cell grafting combined with NT-3 administration at the site of cell transplantation. The results showed that NT-3 administration significantly promoted the survival of the grafted cells in the host-injured area. Significant improvement in rats treated by Schwann-like cell grafting combined with NT-3 administration was demonstrated in the behavioral test as compared with that in animal models received the cell grafting only. These results suggest that transplantation of the Schwann-like cells combined with NT-3 administration may represent a new strategy of stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury.