BAVARIAN RESEARCH NETWORK FOR ADULT NEURAL STEM CELLS
Co-transplantation of adult neural progenitor cells and mesenchymal stromal cells to promote axonal regeneration und remyelination in the injured spinal cord
Following acute spinal cord injury, transplanted adult neural progenitor cells have been shown to build a cellular scaffold for injured axons to regenerate on. However, adult neural progenitor cell grafts replace cystic spinal cord lesion defects only in combination with fibroblasts. Moreover, almost no oligodendroglial differentiation as a prerequisite for appropriate remyelination is observed. Stable gene transfer into adult neural progenitor cells (e. g. to overexpress appropriate growth factors) has yet to be established. The proposed project aims to further enhance the capacity of adult neural progenitor cells, to promote axon regeneration and remyelination following spinal cord injury. Neural progenitor cells will be co-grafted with mesenchymal stromal cells, which have been shown to replace cystic lesion defects, induce oligodendroglial differentiation and can be genetically modified to stably overexpress growth-promoting factors. The ultimate goal is to assess the structural and functional outcome in appropriate animal models of spinal cord injury as prerequisite for translation into a clinical application.