Effects of olfactory ensheathing cell transplantation combined withDumeridian electroacupuncture on spinal cord evoked potential in spinal cord injury rats*,*,⋆

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There was no agreement on curative effects of olfactory ensheathing cell (OEC) transplantation in treatment of spinal cord injury. Cell transplantation alone may not be the optimal choice for repairing spinal cord injury. How to select suitable methods for combined application, to realize laboratory application to clinic is a key problem for cell transplantation.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate feasibility of combination of transplanted OECs and Du meridian electroacupuncture on transacted spinal cord in adult rats.

DESIGN, TIME AND SETTING:

The randomized controlled animal study was performed at the Laboratory of Institute of Cranial Neuropathy, Second Affiliated Hospital, Tsinghua University from August 2007 to August 2008.

MATERIALS:

A total of 70 adult male Wistar rats were selected. Ten was used to prepare OECs. Remaining 60 rats were equally and randomly assigned into 4 groups, model control group, OEC transplantation group, Du meridian electroacupuncture group and combination group.

METHODS:

Completely transected spinal cord of adult rats was performed in each group. Following model establishment, the spinal cord was exposed. 10 μ L OEC suspension was slowly injected into gelatin sponge filled in transected spinal cord in the OEC transplantation and combination groups. An equal volume of DMEM-F12 medium was infused into rats of the model control and Du meridian electroacupuncture groups. From 2 days following model induction, rats in the Du meridian electroacupuncture group and combination group received acupuncture once a day. Dazhui (DU14) and Mingmen (DU4) were selected, with a depth of 5 mm. The Dazhui connected to positive electrode and Mingmen connected to negative electrode, for 15 minutes, with a frequency of 20 Hz, persisting impulsive current of 12-15 mV, 7 days as a course, with an interval of 2 days.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Changes in Basso Beattie Bresnahan (BBB) scores following model establishment, and spinal evoked potential were measured.

RESULTS:

Rats in each group survived for 10 weeks. Compared with the model control group, BBB score significantly increased in the OEC transplantation, Du meridian electroacupuncture and combination groups from 4 to 10 weeks following model induction (P < 0.05). The increased range in the combination group was significantly higher than in the OEC transplantation and Du meridian electroacupuncture groups (P < 0.05). Compared with the model control group, amplitude and voltage significantly increased (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01), but reaction latency significantly decreased P < 0.05 or P < 0.01) in the OEC transplantation, Du meridian electroacupuncture and combination groups from 4 to 10 weeks following model induction, and the changes were significant in the combination group. No significant difference in each index between the OEC transplantation and Du meridian electroacupuncture groups (P > 0.05).

CONCLUSION:

Combination of transplanted OECs and Du meridian electroacupuncture can enhance regeneration of neurite and improve the locomotion function in adult rats with spinal cord injury.

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