Cho J, Lee J, Jeong D, Kim H, Chang W, Moon J, Chang J (2016) Placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells facilitate neural and cognitive recovery in dementia rat model. Neuroscience 2016 Abstracts 38.10 / G29. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.
Summary: Introduction: Dementia is a term that encompasses various types of neurodegenerative diseases of the brain that cause a gradual decline in mental abilities. Loss of cholinergic neurons in the brain cholinergic system including the hippocampus is a hallmark of many dementia cases. In this study, we report the therapeutic effects of administration of human placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells (pMSCs) in dementia model Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats using two different cell injection methods: intracerebroventricular (ICV) and intravenous (IV) injections. Methods: Dementia modeling was carried out by intraventricular injection of 192 IgG saporin, which causes lesion of cholinergic neurons. Fifty male SD rats were divided into four groups: normal (n=9), lesion (n=9), ICV (n=12) and IV (n=12). All rats were then subject to Morris water maze test and subsequent immunostaining analyses using markers for human cytoplasm, acetylcholinesterase (AChE), choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and microglial cells at the hippocampus. Results: Lesioned rats showed poor performance in the Morris water maze test compared to the normal rats. Both ICV and IV pMSC administration allowed significant cognitive recovery compared to the lesioned rats. AChE was also significantly recovered back to normal levels at the hippocampus in rats injected with pMSCs post-lesion. ChAT did not co-localize with pMSCs, showing that pMSCs did not directly differentiate into cholinergic cells. Stem cell count showed a significantly greater number of pMSCs at the hippocampal dentate gyrus in IV group rats compared to ICV group rats. Number of microglial cells increased in lesioned rats, and was significantly reduced back to normal levels after pMSC injection. Discussion: Our results demonstrate that injection of pMSCs facilitates recovery of cholinergic neuronal population and function, as well as cognitive behavior. The mechanism through which such recovery happens does not seem to be direct differentiation of injected pMSCs into cholinergic neurons, but rather seems to be through paracrine effects that resemble microglial function. Further research will be necessary for elucidation of the exact mechanisms involved and establishment of optimal parameters for successful cell homing. Acknowledgements: This study was supported by the grant from the Yonsei University Future-leading Research Initiative (Yonsei Challenge) of 2015 (2015-22-0137) and Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (2015R1C1A1A02036851).
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