Electro-acupuncture promotes survival, differentiation of the bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells as well as functional recovery in the spinal cord-transected rats

Ying Ding, Qing Yan, Jing Wen Ruan, Yan Qing Zhang, Wen Jie Li, Yu Jiao Zhang, Yan Li, Hongxin Dong, Yuan Shan Zeng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are one of the potential tools for treatment of the spinal cord injury; however, the survival and differentiation of MSCs in an injured spinal cord still need to be improved. In the present study, we investigated whether Governor Vessel electro-acupuncture (EA) could efficiently promote bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) survival and differentiation, axonal regeneration and finally, functional recovery in the transected spinal cord. Results: The spinal cords of adult Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were completely transected at T10, five experimental groups were performed: 1. sham operated control (Sham-control); 2. operated control (Op-control); 3. electro-acupuncture treatment (EA); 4. MSCs transplantation (MSCs); and 5. MSCs transplantation combined with electro-acupuncture (MSCs+EA). After 2-8 weeks of MSCs transplantation plus EA treatment, we found that the neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), cAMP level, the differentiation of MSCs, the 5-HT positive and CGRP positive nerve fibers in the lesion site and nearby tissue of injured spinal cord were significantly increased in the MSCs+EA group as compared to the group of the MSCs transplantation or the EA treated alone. Furthermore, behavioral test and spinal cord evoked potentials detection demonstrated a significantly functional recovery in the MSCs +EA group. Conclusion: These results suggest that EA treatment may promote grafted MSCs survival and differentiation; MSCs transplantation combined with EA treatment could promote axonal regeneration and partial locomotor functional recovery in the transected spinal cord in rats and indicate a promising avenue of treatment of spinal cord injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number35
JournalBMC Neuroscience
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 20 2009

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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