Saturday, 16 February 2013

Implantation site crucial for allogeneic stem cell survival

In a study that came out today, a research team from the Johns Hopkins University and the Mossakowski Medical Research Centre in Warsaw has discovered that allogeneic neural stem cell transplants have a better chance to properly engraft if injected into the brain striatum instead of the forceps minor (FM) region. Specifically, all striatum grafts managed to graft and survive,unlike the FM ones that were all rejected.

According to Pior Walczak, one of the study's chief researchers, this is probably the first study demonstrating that allograft stem cell survival within the central nervous system (CNS) of an non-immune suppressed animal model is highly dependant on the implantation site.

The researchers experimented on a mouse model which was injected with allogeneic neural stem cells in the two regions mention before. The researchers experimented both on immunodeficient and immunocompetent mice.

The viability of the grafted cells was observed for 16 days using bioluminescence. All of the immunodeficient mice, regardless of implantation site, tolerated the grafts quite well and there were no rejection incidents reported. However, the same didn't happen with the immunocompetent mice. In their case, all STR grafts were accepted while all FM grafts were rejected.

Striatum (Red), source

Further experimentation revealed that the FM grafts had a cylindrical distribution parallel to the needle track, whereas the neural stem cells that had been transplanted to the STR had accumulated along the border between the Striatum and the Corpus Callosum in a wedge-shaped, semi lunar "pocket." The study suggests that the shape of the cell deposit might be the result of damage induced during the injection, and explains that a minimally invasive approach has a higher chance of successful graft survival.

"This is an indicator that surgical injury may be the leading factor that initiates the rejection process"

"Thus, minimally traumatic allograft transplantation, preventing activation of the microglia and limiting foreign antigen presentation, may contribute to long-term allograft survival."  Key-segments from the study

Walczak believes that their observations may have important implications and may explain the variability in allograft survival demonstrated by the published literature.

The full text of the study is available for free.

Janowski, M., Engels, C., Gorelik, M., Lyczek, A., Bernard, S., Bulte, J., & Walczak, P. (2012). Survival of Neural Progenitors Allografted into the CNS of Immunocompetent Recipients is Highly Dependent on Transplantation Site Cell Transplantation DOI: 10.3727/096368912X661328

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