Successful Development of Combined Therapy Using Human iPS Cell Transplantation for Chronic Complete Spinal Cord Injury: New combination therapy brings together human iPS cell transplantation and scaffolds containing hepatocyte growth factor
February 2, 2023 Keio University School of Medicine
A research group at the Keio University School of Medicine has developed a new treatment for chronic complete spinal cord injury for which there was no effective treatment. The group conducted animal experiments resulting in the world's first successful restoration of motor function and urinary function and was led by Professor Hideyuki Okano of the Department of Physiology, Professor Masaya Nakamura of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Assistant Professor Shogo Hashimoto, and Lecturer Narihito Nagoshi of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery.
Previously, this research group transplanted human iPS cell-derived neural stem/progenitor cells into animals with subacute incomplete spinal cord injury and reported their efficacy in improving motor function. Here, the efficacy of the same transplantation therapy was investigated in rats with chronic complete spinal cord injury. Previous studies have reported that the functional improvement of rats with chronic complete spinal cord injury is limited by various neuroregeneration inhibitory factors and that transplantation of human iPS cell-derived neural stem/progenitor cells alone does not improve the function of animal models. As such, the group first pre-administered a collagen scaffold containing hepatocyte growth factor to the injured area to improve the microenvironment of the spinal cord. The group then performed standby transplantation of human iPS cell-derived neural stem/progenitor cells and succeeded in achieving functional recovery by increasing the engraftment rate of the transplanted cells. The results of this study demonstrated that the efficacy of cell transplantation therapy for chronic spinal cord injury can be enhanced by modifying the spinal cord microenvironment prior to transplantation. Based on these findings, the group expects to establish a clinical treatment method for complete spinal cord injury in the chronic stage, a condition that has been thought to be difficult to recover from.
The research results were published online in Biomaterials on January 26, 2023 (GMT).
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