Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Effect of human umbilical cord blood mesenchymal stem cell transplantation on neuronal metabolites in ischemic rabbits

Ye-Ming Guan1, Yao Zhu1, Xue-Chun Liu1, Hai-Li Huang1, Zhi-Wei Wang1, Bo Liu2, You-Zi Zhu3 and Qing-Song Wang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Neurology, The 105th Hospital of PLA, Clinic College, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230031, China

2 Center for Cell Therapy, The 105th Hospital of PLA, Clinic College, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230031, China

3 Department of Radiology, The 105th Hospital of PLA, Clinic College, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230031, China

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BMC Neuroscience 2014, 15:41  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-15-41

Published: 17 March 2014

Abstract

Background

Because there is little research on the effects of transplanted stem cells on neuronal metabolites in infarct areas, we transplanted human umbilical cord blood mesenchymal stem cells (hUCB-MSCs) into cerebral ischemic rabbits and examined the neuronal metabolites.

Results

Rabbits (n = 40) were equally divided into sham, middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), hUCB-MSC, and saline groups. The rabbit ischemic model was established by MCAO. The effects of hUCB-MSC transplantation were assessed by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS), neurological severity scores (NSSs), infarct area volume, neuronal density, and optical density (OD) of microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2)-positive cells. We also evaluated complete blood cell counts(CBCs) and serum biochemical parameters. NSSs in the hUCB-MSC group at 7 and 14 days after reperfusion were lower than in MCAO and saline groups (p < 0.05). Compared with MCAO and saline groups at 2 weeks after MCAO, the infarction volume in the hUCB-MSC group had decreased remarkably (p < 0.05). Significant neuronal metabolic changes occurred in the infarct area at 24 h and 2 weeks after MCAO. 1H-MRS revealed an elevation in the lactate (Lac)/creatine including phosphocreatine (Cr) ratio and a decrease in the N-acetylaspartate (NAA)/Cr and choline-containing phospholipids (Cho)/Cr ratios at 24 h after MCAO in the MCAO group (p < 0.01). Compared with saline and MCAO groups at 24 h and 2 weeks after MCAO, NAA/Cr and Cho/Cr ratios had increased significantly, whereas the Lac/Cr ratio had decreased significantly in the hUCB-MSC group (p < 0.01). Neuronal density and OD of MAP2-positive cells in the MCAO group were significantly lower than those in the sham group, whereas the neuronal density and OD of MAP2-positive cells in the hUCB-MSC group were higher than those in MCAO and saline groups (p < 0.05). CBCs and biochemical parameters were unchanged in the MCAO group at 24 h and 2 weeks after hUCB-MSC transplantation.

Conclusions

Transplanted hUCB-MSCs might ameliorate ischemic damage by influencing neuronal metabolites in the infarct area, providing additional evidence for neuroprotection by stem cells. No significant changes were observed in CBCs or serum biochemical parameters, suggesting that intravenous infusion of hUCB-MSCs is safe for rabbits in the short-term.

Keywords:
Human umbilical cord blood mesenchymal stem cells; Cerebral ischemia; Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy; Middle cerebral artery occlusion