306 research outputs found

    Transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells into spinal cord lesions restores breathing and climbing

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    One of the most devastating effects of damage to the upper spinal cord is the loss of the ability to breathe; patients suffering these injuries can be kept alive only with assisted ventilation. No known method for repairing these injuries exists. We report here the return of supraspinal control of breathing and major improvements in climbing after the application of a novel endogenous matrix transfer method. This method permits efficient transfer and retention of cultured adult rat olfactory ensheathing cells when transplanted into large lesions that destroy all tracts on one side at the upper cervical level of the adult rat spinal cord. This demonstrates that transplantation can produce simultaneous repair of two independent spinal functions

    Functional repair of the corticospinal tract by delayed transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells in adult rats

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    Adult rats were trained to use their forepaws to retrieve a piece of food. Destruction of the dorsal corticospinal tract on one side at the level of the first cervical segment abolished the use of the ipsilateral forepaw for retrieval for at least 6 months after operation. Where a variable amount of the corticospinal tract was spared, there was a proportionate persistence of retrieval. In lesioned rats that had shown no retrieval for 8 weeks after operation, a suspension of olfactory ensheathing cells was injected into the lesion site. Starting between 1 and 3 weeks after transplantation, all rats with transplants bridging the lesion site resumed retrieval by the ipsilateral forepaw. Biotin dextran anterograde tracing shows regenerating corticospinal axons crossing the bridge, traveling caudally for ~10 mm in the distal part of the corticospinal tract and forming terminal arborizations in the spinal gray matter. Functional recovery can occur when only ~1% of the corticospinal tract axons are present

    Transplanted olfactory ensheathing cells promote regeneration of cut adult rat optic nerve axons

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    Transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells into spinal cord lesions promotes regeneration of cut axons into terminal fields and functional recovery. This repair involves the formation of a peripheral nerve-like bridge in which perineurial-like fibroblasts are organized into a longitudinal stack of parallel tubular channels, some of which contain regenerating axons enwrapped by Schwann-like olfactory ensheathing cells. The present study examines whether cut retinal ganglion cell axons will also respond to these cells, and if so, whether they form the same type of arrangement. In adult rats, the optic nerve was completely severed behind the optic disc, and a matrix containing cultured olfactory ensheathing cells was inserted between the proximal and distal stumps. After 6 months, the transplanted cells had migrated for up to 10 mm into the distal stump. Anterograde labeling with cholera toxin B showed that cut retinal ganglion cell axons had regenerated through the transplants, entered the distal stump, and elongated for 10 mm together with the transplanted cells. Electron microscopy showed that a peripheral nerve-like tissue had been formed, similar to that seen in the spinal cord transplants. However, in contrast to the spinal cord, the axons did not reach the terminal fields, but terminated in large vesicle-filled expansions beyond which the distal optic nerve stump was reduced to a densely interwoven mass of astrocytic processes

    Astrocytic role in synapse formation after injury

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    In 1969 a paper entitled Neuronal plasticity in the septal nuclei of the adult rat proposed that new synapses are formed in the adult brain after injury (Raisman, 1969). The quantitative electron microscopic study of the timed responses to selective partial denervation of the neuropil of the adult rat septal nuclei after distant transection of the hippocampal efferent axons in the fimbria showed that the new synapses arise by sprouting of surviving adjacent synapses which selectively take over the previously denervated sites and thus restore the number of synapses to normal. This article presents the evidence for the role of perisynaptic astrocytic processes in the removal and formation of synapses and considers its significance as one of the three major divisions of the astrocytic surface in terms of the axonal responses to injury and regeneration. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:50th Anniversary Issue

    Functional Repair of Rat Corticospinal Tract Lesions Does Not Require Permanent Survival of an Immunoincompatible Transplant

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    Cell transplantation is one of the most promising strategies for repair of human spinal cord injuries. Animal studies from a number of laboratories have shown that transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells cultured from biopsies of the olfactory bulb mediate axonal regeneration and remyelination and restore lost functions in spinal cord injuries. For translation from small laboratory experimental injuries to the large spinal cord injuries encountered in human patients the numbers of cells that can be obtained from a patient's own olfactory bulb becomes a serious limiting factor. Furthermore, removal of an olfactory bulb requires invasive surgery and risks unilateral anosmia. We here report that xenografted mouse bulbar olfactory ensheathing cells immunoprotected by daily cyclosporine restore directed forepaw reaching function in rats with chronic C1/2 unilateral corticospinal tract lesions. Once function had been established for 10 days, cyclosporine was withdrawn. Thirteen out of 13 rats continued to increase directed forepaw reaching. Immunohistochemistry shows that in all cases neurofilament-positive axons were present in the lesion, but that the grafted cells had been totally rejected. This implies that once grafted cells have acted as bridges for axon regeneration across the lesion site their continued presence is no longer necessary for maintaining the restored function. This raises the possibility that in the future a protocol of temporary immunoprotection might allow for the use of the larger available numbers of immunoincompatible allografted cells or cell lines, which would avoid the need for removing a patient's olfactory bulb

    Comparison of Bulbar and Mucosal Olfactory Ensheathing Cells Using FACS and Simultaneous Antigenic Bivariate Cell Cycle Analysis

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    Transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) is a promising route for CNS repair. There have, however, been major discrepancies between the results from different groups. Part of this can be attributed to variations in cell sources and culture protocols. Accurate estimation of the proportions of OECs and their associated fibroblasts (ONFs) and their evolution with time in culture is an essential baseline for establishing the reparative properties of transplants. In this study, we compare the evolution of cultures from the superficial layers of the olfactory bulb with tissue from the olfactory mucosa, both whole and split into lamina propria and epithelial layer. We used FACS based on p75 and Thy1 to provide a robust and objective numerical estimate of the numbers of OECs and ONFs, respectively in the cultures. A novel four color simultaneous antigenic bivariate cell cycle analysis shows that proliferation of OECs is time-limited, and is unable to prevent an overall loss of OECs with time. Overall, the numbers of OECs in the cultures were inversely correlated with the deposition of fibronectin (FN). Further, culture of the cells purified by flow cytometry shows that, whereas the Thy1 population is terminally differentiated, the p75 population from the mucosal samples generates subpopulations with different antigenic phenotypes, including the reappearance of a subpopulation of p75 cells expressing FN. Culturing epithelial samples at high density reveals an unexpected transient stem cell-like population of rapidly proliferating p75 positive cells. (C) 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc

    Transplantation of Cultured Olfactory Bulb Cells Prevents Abnormal Sensory Responses During Recovery From Dorsal Root Avulsion in the Rat

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    The central branches of the C7 and C8 dorsal roots were avulsed close to their entry point into the spinal cord in adult rats. The forepaw responses to heat and cold stimuli were tested at 1, 2, and 3 weeks after injury. Over this period, the paws were sensitive to both stimuli at 1-2 weeks and returned toward normal at 3 weeks. Immunohistology showed no evidence of axonal regeneration into the spinal cord in a control group of rats with avulsion only, implying that adjacent dorsal roots and their corresponding dermatomes were involved in the recovery. In a further group of rats, a mixture of bulbar olfactory ensheathing cells and olfactory nerve fibroblasts were transplanted into the gap between the avulsed roots and the spinal cord at the time of avulsion. These rats showed no evidence of either loss of sensation or exaggerated responses to stimuli at any of the time points from 1 to 3 weeks. Immunohistology showed that the transplanted cells formed a complete bridge, and the central branches of the dorsal root fibers had regenerated into the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. These regenerating axons, including Tuj1 and CGRP immunoreactive fibers, were ensheathed by the olfactory ensheathing cells. This confirms our previous demonstration of central regeneration by these transplants and suggests that such transplants may provide a useful means to prevent the development of abnormal sensations such as allodynia after spinal root lesions

    Structural basis of glaucoma: the fortified astrocytes of the optic nerve head are the target of raised intraocular pressure

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    Increased intraocular pressure (IOP) damages the retinal ganglion cell axons as they pass through the optic nerve head (ONH). The massive connective tissue structure of the human lamina cribrosa is generally assumed to be the pressure transducer responsible for the damage. The rat, however, with no lamina cribrosa, suffers the same glaucomatous response to raised IOP. Here, we show that the astrocytes of the rat ONH are "fortified" by extraordinarily dense cytoskeletal filaments that would make them ideal transducers of distorting mechanical forces. The ONH astrocytes are arranged as a fan-like radial array, firmly attached ventrally to the sheath of the ONH by thick basal processes, but dividing dorsally into progressively more slender processes with only delicate attachments to the sheath. At 1 week after raising the IOP by an injection of magnetic microspheres into the anterior eye chamber, the fine dorsal processes of the ONH astrocytes are torn away from the surrounding sheath. There is no indication of distortion or compression of the axons. Subsequently, despite return of the IOP toward normal levels, the damage to the ONH progresses ventrally through the astrocytic cell bodies, resulting in complete loss of the fortified astrocytes and of the majority of the axons by around 4 weeks. We propose that the dorsal attachments of the astrocytes are the site of initial damage in glaucoma, and that the damage to the axons is not mechanical, but is a consequence oflocalized loss of metabolic support from the astrocytes (Tsacopoulos and Magistretti (1996) J Neurosci 16:877-885)

    Directionality and bipolarity of olfactory ensheathing cells on electrospun nanofibers

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    AIM: As a preliminary to the construction of olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) bearing scaffold for bridging larger lesions in the spinal cord, we have investigated the response of purified cultured OECs to nanoscale fibers of varying diameter using US FDA-approved, biodegradable poly(lactic-co-glycolic-acid). MATERIALS & METHODS: Conventional electrospinning produced fibers of approximately 700 nm diameter (nano-700) while nanocomposite electrospinning with quantum dots produced significantly more uniform fibers of a reduced diameter to approximately 237 nm (nano-250). OECs from adult rat were FACS purified, cultured at low density on either a flat surface or a meshwork of randomly orientated nano-700 and nano-250 fibers, and assessed using cytomorphometric analysis of immunofluorescent confocal images and by scanning electron microscopy. RESULTS & CONCLUSION: Compared with a flat surface, culture on a nano-700 mesh increases cell attachment. Cells change from rounded to stellate forms in random orientation. Further size reduction to the nano-250 favors bipolarity in cells with unidirectional orientation as observed in the case when transplanted OECs were used to bridge areas of damage in rat spinal cords

    Transplanted Olfactory Ensheathing Cells Reduce Retinal Degeneration in Royal College of Surgeons Rats

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    PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of genetic disorders and a slow loss of vision that is caused by a cascade of retinal degenerative events. We examined whether these retinal degenerative events were reduced after cultured mixtures of adult olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) and olfactory nerve fibroblasts (ONFs) were transplanted into the subretinal space of 1-month-old RCS rat, a classic model of RP. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The changes in retinal photoreceptors and Müller cells of RCS rats after cell transplantation were observed by the expression of recoverin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), counting peanut agglutinin (PNA)-positive cone outer segments and calculating the relative apoptotic area. The retinal function was also evaluated by Flash electroretinography (ERG). To further investigate the mechanisms, by which OECs/ONFs play important roles in the transplanted retinas, nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) secretion of the cultured cells were analyzed by ELISA. The ability of OECs/ONFs to ingest porcine retinal outer segments and the amount of phagocytosis were compared with retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. RESULTS: Our research showed that the transplantation of OECs/ONFs mixtures restored recoverin expression, protected retinal outer segments, increased PNA-positive cone outer segments, reduced caspase-positive apoptotic figures, downregulated GFAP, and maintained the b-wave of the ERG. Cultured OECs/ONFs expressed and secreted NGF, BDNF, and bFGF which made contributions to assist survival of the photoreceptors. An in vitro phagocytosis assay showed that OECs, but not ONFs, phagocytosed porcine retinal outer segments, and the phagocytic ability of OECs was even superior to that of RPE cells. CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate that transplantation of OECs/ONFs cleaned up the accumulated debris in subretinal space, and provided an intrinsic continuous supply of neurotrophic factors. It suggested that transplantation of OECs/ONFs might be a possible future route for protection of the retina and reducing retinal degeneration in RP
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