Schwann Cells pp 137-148 | Cite as

Derivation of Fate-Committed Schwann Cells from Bone Marrow Stromal Cells of Adult Rats

  • Y. P. Tsui
  • Graham K. Shea
  • Y. S. Chan
  • Daisy K. Y. ShumEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1739)


Our goal is to derive phenotypically stable Schwann cells from bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) for use in transplantation studies of central/peripheral nerve injuries. With the adult rat as model, here we describe steps that foster (1) expansion of the BMSC subpopulation of neural progenitors as neurosphere cells, (2) differentiation of the progenitors into Schwann cell-like cells in adherent culture supplemented with soluble factors, and (3) cell-intrinsic switch of Schwann cell-like cells to the Schwann cell fate following co-culture with sensory neurons purified from dorsal root ganglia. The derived Schwann cells retain marker expression despite withdrawal of supplements and neuronal cues, survive passaging and cryopreservation, and, importantly, show functional capacity for myelination.

Key words

BMSC-derived Schwann cells Nerve regeneration Bone marrow stromal cells Myelination Cell-based therapy 



This work was supported by the Strategic Research Theme of The University of Hong Kong, Croucher Foundation MBBS/PhD Scholarship to GKHS, and the Hong Kong Research Grants Council GRF 777810 to D.K.Y.S.


  1. 1.
    Jessen KR, Mirsky R, Lloyd AC (2015) Schwann cells: development and roles in nerve repair. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 7:a020487CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rodriguez FJ, Verdu E, Ceballos D, Navarro X (2000) Nerve guides seeded with autologous Schwann cells improved nerve regeneration. Exp Neurol 161:571–584CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chau CH, Shum DK, Li H, Pei J, Lui YY, Wirthlin L, Chan YS, Xu XM (2004) Chondroitinase ABC enhances axonal regrowth through Schwann cell-seeded guidance channels after spinal cord injury. FASEB J 18:194–196CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Pearse DD, Pereira FC, Marcillo AE, Bates ML, Berrocal YA, Filbin MT, Bunge MB (2004) cAMP and Schwann cells promote axonal growth and functional recovery after spinal cord injury. Nat Med 10:610–616CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bachelin C, Lachapelle F, Girard C et al (2005) Efficient myelin repair in the macaque spinal cord by autologous grafts of Schwann cells. Brain 128:540–549CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Saberi H, Moshayedi P, Aghayan HR, Arjmand B, Hosseini SK, Emami-Razavi SH, Rahimi-Movaghar V, Raza M, Firouzi M (2008) Treatment of chronic thoracic spinal cord injury patients with autologous Schwann cell transplantation: an interim report on safety considerations and possible outcomes. Neurosci Lett 443:46–50CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Nagoshi N, Shibata S, Kubota Y et al (2008) Ontogeny and multipotency of neural crest-derived stem cells in mouse bone marrow, dorsal root ganglia, and whisker pad. Cell Stem Cell 2:392–403CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cai S, Shea GK, Tsui AY, Chan YS, Shum DK (2011) Derivation of clinically applicable Schwann cells from bone marrow stromal cells for neural repair and regeneration. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets 10:500–508CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dezawa M, Takahashi I, Esaki M, Takano M, Sawada H (2001) Sciatic nerve regeneration in rats induced by transplantation of in vitro differentiated bone-marrow stromal cells. Eur J Neurosci 14:1771–1776CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Caddick J, Kingham PJ, Gardiner NJ, Wiberg M, Terenghi G (2006) Phenotypic and functional characteristics of mesenchymal stem cells differentiated along a Schwann cell lineage. Glia 54:840–849CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Keilhoff G, Goihl A, Langnäse K, Fansa H, Wolf G (2006) Transdifferentiation of mesenchymal stem cells into Schwann cell-like myelinating cells. Eur J Cell Biol 85:11–24CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Keilhoff G, Goihl A, Stang F, Wolf G, Fansa H (2006) Peripheral nerve tissue engineering: autologous Schwann cells vs transdifferentiated mesenchymal stem cells. Tissue Eng 12:1451–1465CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cogle CR, Theise ND, Fu D, Ucar D, Lee S, Guthrie SM, Lonergan J, Rybka W, Krause DS, Scott EW (2007) Bone marrow contributes to epithelial cancers in mice and humans as developmental mimicry. Stem Cells 25:1881–1887CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Takashima Y, Era T, Nakao K, Kondo S, Kasuga M, Smith AG, Nishikawa S (2007) Neuroepithelial cells supply an initial transient wave of MSC differentiation. Cell 129:1377–1388CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Pawelek JM, Chakraborty AK (2008) Fusion of tumour cells with bone marrow-derived cells: a unifying explanation for metastasis. Nat Rev Cancer 8:377–386CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Shea GSK, Tsui YP, Chan YS, Shum DK (2010) Bone marrow-derived Schwann cell achieved fate commitment – a prerequisite for remyelination therapy. Exp Neurol 224:248–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ao Q, Fung CK, Tsui YP, Cai S, Zuo HC, Chan YS, Shum DK (2011) The regeneration of transected sciatic nerves of adult rats using nerve conduits seeded with bone marrow stromal cell-derived Schwann cells. Biomaterials 32:787–796CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. P. Tsui
    • 1
  • Graham K. Shea
    • 2
  • Y. S. Chan
    • 1
  • Daisy K. Y. Shum
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Biomedical Sciences, LKS Faculty of MedicineThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, LKS Faculty of MedicineThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina

Personalised recommendations