Cell-based therapies are attracting attention as alternative therapeutic options for brain damage. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic effect of a combined therapy of cell transplantation and locomotor training by evaluating the neuronal connectivity. We transplanted neural cells derived from the frontal cortex of E14.5 GFP-expressing mice into the frontal lobe of 3-week-old rats with brain injury, followed by treadmill training (TMT) for 14 days. In the TMT(−) group, graft-derived neurites were observed only in the striatum and internal capsule. In contrast, in the TMT(+) group, they were observed in the striatum, internal capsule, and the cerebral peduncle and spinal cord. The length of the longest neurite was significantly longer in the TMT(+) group than in the TMT(−) group. In the TMT(+) group, Synaptophysin+ vesicles on the neuronal fibers around the ipsilateral red nucleus were found, suggesting that neuronal fibers from the grafted cells formed synapses with the host neurons. A functional analysis of motor recovery using the foot fault test showed that, 1 week after the transplantation, the recovery was significantly better in the cell transplantation and TMT group than the cell transplantation only group. The percentage of cells expressing C-FOS was increased in the grafts in the TMT(+) group. In conclusion, TMT promoted neurite extensions from the grafted neural cells, and the combined therapy of cell transplantation and locomotor training might have the potential to promote the functional recovery of rats with brain injury compared to cell transplantation alone.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biomedical Engineering
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology