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    Objectives: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a most debilitating traumatic injury, and cytotherapy is a promising alternative treatment strategy. Here we investigated the effect and mechanism of adipose-derived stem/stromal cells (ASCs) with overexpressing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT3) (BDNF-NT3) in combination with silk fibroin/chitosan scaffold (SFCS) in SCI.Methods: Female Sprague-Dawley rats were used as an SCI model. SFCS,SFCS and ASCs, or ASCs overexpressing NT3, BDNF, and BDNF-NT3 were implanted into SCI rats. Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan score, pathological changes, and spinal cord tissue and nerve fiber morphology were observed and assayed. GAP-43, GFAP, and caspase-3 expression was determined using immunohistochemistry and western blotting.Results: Smoother spinal cords, less scar tissue, and lower inflammatory activity were found in the SFCS, SFCS and ASCs, ASCs with NT3, BDNF, and BDNF-NT3 overexpression treatment than in the untreated SCI rat groups. Increasing formation of nerve fibers was observed in the above groups in order. GAP-43 expression significantly increased, while GFAP and caspase-3 expression significantly decreased. These results indicated obvious alleviation in pathological changes and BDNF-NT3 overexpression in ASCs combined with SFCS treatment in SCI rats.Conclusion: Thus, BDNF-NT3 overexpression from ASCs with SFCS had synergistic neuroprotective effects on SCI and may be a treatment option for SCI.


    Wen-Chen Ji, Meng Li, Wan-Ting Jiang, Xing Ma, Jia Li. Protective effect of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-3 overexpression by adipose-derived stem cells combined with silk fibroin/chitosan scaffold in spinal cord injury. Neurological research. 2020 May;42(5):361-371

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    PMID: 32149594

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