Olfactory enstheathing cells (OECs) were transplanted in adult rats after photochemical injury of the spinal cord. Rats received either 180,000 OECs suspended in DMEM or DMEM alone. Locomotor ability scored by the BBB-scale, pain sensibility, and motor and somatosensory evoked potentials were evaluated during the first 14 days post-surgery. At 3, 7, and 14 days, 5 rats per day of both groups were perfused and transverse sections from proximal, lesioned and distal spinal cord blocks were stained for COX-2, VEGF, GFAP and lectin. The BBB-score and the amplitude of motor and somatosensory evoked potentials were significantly higher in OEC- than in DMEM-injected animals throughout follow-up, whereas the withdrawal latency to heat noxious stimulus was lower in OEC- than in DMEM-injected rats. The area of preserved spinal cord and the levels of COX-2 and VEGF staining were significantly higher in OEC- than in DMEM-injected rats. GFAP- but no LEC-positive cells expressed COX-2 staining in OEC- transplanted rats. The density of blood vessels was also significantly increased in OEC- with respect to DMEM-injected rats. Our results show that OECs promote functional and morphological preservation of the spinal cord after photochemical injury, increasing neoangiogenesis and up-regulation of COX-2 and VEGF expression in astrocytes.
|Journal||Journal of Neurotrauma|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2004|
- Olfactory ensheathing cells
- Spinal cord injury