Olfactory ensheathing glia graft in combination with FK506 administration promote repair after spinal cord injury

Rubèn López-Vales, Joaquim Forés, Xavier Navarro, Enrique Verdú
Neurobiology of Disease 2006, 24 (3): 443-54
The aim of this study was to determine whether a combination of olfactory ensheathing cell (OEC) graft with the administration of FK506, two experimental approaches that have been previously reported to exert protective/regenerative effects after spinal cord injury, promotes synergic restorative effects after complete or partial spinal cord injuries. In partial spinal cord injury, combination of an OEC graft and FK506 reduced functional deficits evaluated by the BBB score, motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) and H reflex tests, diminished cavitation, astrogliosis and increased sparing/regeneration of raphespinal fibers compared to untreated and single-treatment groups of rats. After complete spinal cord transection, the combined treatment significantly improved functional outcomes, promoted axonal regeneration caudal to the lesion, and diminished astrogliosis compared only to non-transplanted animals. Slightly, but non-significant, better functional and histological results were found in OEC-grafted animals treated with FK506 than in those given saline after spinal cord transection. Nevertheless, the combined treatment increased the percentage of rats that recovered MEPs and promoted a significant reduction in astrogliosis. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that OEC grafts combined with FK506 promote additive repair of spinal cord injuries to those exerted by single treatments, the effect being more remarkable when the spinal cord is partially lesioned.

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