Subarachnoid Space Transplantation of Schwann and/or Olfactory Ensheathing Cells Following Severe Spinal Cord Injury Fails to Improve Locomotor Recovery in Rats
Treatment of spinal cord injury by exogenous cells has brought both successful and unsuccessful results. Olfactory ensheathing cells and Schwann cells have been widely used for transplantation purposes. In this study, we investigated the effects of these cells on contused spinal cord by introducing cells into subarachnoid space. Fifty thousand Schwann cells or olfactory ensheathing cells or a mixture of both cell types were transplanted one week after a 3-second clip compression injury at T-9 spinal cord level in rats. Starting from the day one of spinal cord injury, animals were assessed for six months by BBB test and then were sacrificed for immunohistochemistry labeling of the spinal cord injury site. There was no locomotor recovery in any of the treatment groups including controls. Immunohistochemistry assessment indicated positive labeling of P75 and S100 markers in the cell-transplanted groups compared with control. Our data suggest that transplantation of Schwann cells and/or olfactory ensheathing cells into the subarachnoid space does not improve motor recovery in severely injured spinal cord, at least with the number of cells transplanted here. This, however, should not be regarded as an essentially negative outcome, and further studies which consider higher densities of cells are required.
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