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Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Dec 2022 - 16 Dec 2022

Animal Studies


Front Cell Neurosci


Novel therapeutic approach to slow down the inflammatory cascade in acute/subacute spinal cord injury: Early immune therapy with lipopolysaccharide enhanced neuroprotective effect of combinational therapy of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and bone-


Bone-marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) have not yet proven any significant therapeutic efficacy in spinal cord injury (SCI) clinical trials, due to the hostile microenvironment of the injured spinal cord at the acute phase. This study aims to modulate the inflammatory milieu by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) to improve the BM-MSCs therapy. For this purpose, we determined the optimum injection time and sub-toxic dosage of LPS following a T10 contusion injury. Medium-dose LPS administration may result in a local anti-inflammatory beneficial role. This regulatory role is associated with an increase in NF-200-positive cells, significant tissue sparing, and improvement in functional recovery compared to the SCI control group. The second aim was to examine the potential ability of LPS and LPS + G-CSF combination therapy to modulate the lesion site before BM-MSC (1 × 105 cells) intra-spinal injection. Our results demonstrated combination therapy increased potency to enhance the anti-inflammatory response (IL-10 and Arg-1) and decrease inflammatory markers (TNF-α and CD86) and caspase-3 compared to BM-MSC monotherapy. Histological analysis revealed that combination groups displayed better structural remodeling than BM-MSC monotherapy. In addition, Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan (BBB) scores show an increase in motor recovery in all treatment groups. Moreover, drug therapy shows faster recovery than BM-MSC monotherapy. Our results suggest that a sub-toxic dose of LPS provides neuroprotection to SCI and can promote the beneficial effect of BM-MSC in SCI. These findings suggest that a combination of LPS or LPS + G-CSF prior BM-MSC transplantation is a promising approach for optimizing BM-MSC-based strategies to treat SCI. However, because of the lack of some methodological limitations to examine the survival rate and ultimate fate of transplanted BM-MSCs followed by LPS administration in this study, further research needs to be done in this area. The presence of only one-time point for evaluating the inflammatory response (1 week) after SCI can be considered as one of the limitations of this study. We believed that the inclusion of additional time points would provide more information about the effect of our combination therapy on the microglia/macrophage polarization dynamic at the injured spinal cord.