Human-Induced Neural and Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy Combined with a Curcumin Nanoconjugate as a Spinal Cord Injury Treatment

Pablo Bonilla, Joaquim Hernández, Esther Giraldo, Miguel A. González-Pérez, Ana Alastrue-Agudo, Hoda Elkhenany, María J. Vicent, Xavier Navarro, Michael Edel, Victoria Moreno-Manzano

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We currently lack effective treatments for the devastating loss of neural function associated with spinal cord injury (SCI). In this study, we evaluated a combination therapy comprising human neural stem cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC-NSC), human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), and a pH-responsive polyacetal–curcumin nanoconjugate (PA-C) that allows the sustained release of curcumin. In vitro analysis demonstrated that PA-C treatment protected iPSC-NSC from oxidative damage in vitro, while MSC co-culture prevented lipopolysaccharide-induced activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) in iPSC-NSC. Then, we evaluated the combination of PA-C delivery into the intrathecal space in a rat model of contusive SCI with stem cell transplantation. While we failed to observe significant improvements in locomotor function (BBB scale) in treated animals, histological analysis revealed that PA-C-treated or PA-C and iPSC-NSC + MSC-treated animals displayed significantly smaller scars, while PA-C and iPSC-NSC + MSC treatment induced the preservation of β-III Tubulin-positive axons. iPSC-NSC + MSC transplantation fostered the preservation of motoneurons and myelinated tracts, while PA-C treatment polarized microglia into an anti-inflammatory phenotype. Overall, the combination of stem cell transplantation and PA-C treatment confers higher neuroprotective effects compared to individual treatments.
Idioma originalUndefined/Unknown
RevistaInternational journal of molecular sciences
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 31 de maig 2021

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