Document Type : Original Article
Objective: Previous studies have shown that transplantation of bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) into the contused spinal cord improves functional recovery and that administration of Schwann cells (SCs) after spinal cord injury (SCI) facilitates axonal regeneration. Although the efficacy of these treatments have been proven, when used individually,
their resulting number of regenerated axons is small and locomotor recovery is modest; therefore, we decided to research whether co-transplantation of these cells can improve the outcome.
Materials and Methods: Adult male Wistar rats (n=56), each weighting 250-300 grams were used. BMSCs and SCs were cultured and prelabeled with BrdU and 1,1' dioctadecyl 3,3,3',3' tetramethylindocarbocyanin perchlorate respectively. Contusion model of SCI was performed at the T8-9 level using NYU device (New York University device). The rats
were divided into seven groups, each consisting of 8 animals. These groups included: a control group, three experimental groups and three sham groups. In the control group, only a laminectomy was performed. The three experiment groups were the BMSC, SC and co-transplant groups, and 7 days after injury, they received intraspinal BMSCs, SCs and the combination of BMSCs & SCs respectively. The sham groups received serum in the same manner. Locomotion in the groups was assessed using the basso, beatie and bresnahan (BBB) test at 1, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, 49 and 56 days after SCI.
Results: More significant improvement was observed in the BBB scores of the co-transplant
group (p<0.05) in comparison with BMSC and SC groups.
Conclusion: This study shows that co-transplantation of BMSCs and SCs may provide a powerful therapy for SCI and become required for the development of combinatory treatment strategies in the future