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Transplantation Technique Feasible for Spinal Cord Injury

Rat study finds use of mono-nuclear bone marrow cells dramatically eases clinical translation

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In the treatment of spinal cord injury, transplantation of readily available mono-nuclear bone marrow cells may be an alternative to the use of bone marrow stromal cells, according to an animal study published in the Nov. 15 issue of Spine.

Amer F. Samdani, M.D., of the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, and colleagues created spinal cord injuries in two groups of six rats that were treated with direct injections of human mono-nuclear fraction of bone marrow or bone marrow stromal cells.

Unlike bone marrow stromal cells, the researchers found that mono-nuclear fraction of bone marrow was not associated with production of mature immune cells, an increased host immune response, or tissue loss. After 21 days, they found that histological determinants for transplant efficiency, including macrophage responses and effects on glial scarring, were comparable in both groups of rats.

"Future studies will further elucidate the potential benefits of mono-nuclear fraction of bone marrow specifically regarding the mechanism of action and the cell composition after transplantation into clinically relevant contusion injury models by either direct injection or minimally invasive delivery," the authors conclude. "In addition, other autologous sources of bone marrow stromal cells and mono-nuclear cell fractions containing bone marrow stromal cells, which are even more accessible than bone marrow, such as adipose tissue, will be evaluated."

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