1Assistant Professor, Hearing Disorders Research Center & Department of Biology and Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2Professor, Department of Anatomical Science, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran and Shefa Neuroscience Research Center, Khatam Al-Anbia Hospital, Tehran, Iran
3Professor, Department of Genetics, Faculty of Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
4Associate Professor, Department of Anatomical Science, School of Medical Science, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran
5Shefa Neuroscience Research Center, Khatam Al-Anbia Hospital, Tehran, Iran
6Professor, Hearing Disorders Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Abstract Background & Aims: Cell therapy is among the novel therapeutic methods effective in the treatment of spinal cord injuries. The aim of the present study was using neural stem cells (NSCs) in treating contusion spinal cord injury in rat model. Methods: Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) were isolated from adult rats. After three passages, these cells were transdifferntiated to neurospheres and subsequently to neural stem cells (NSCs). At in vivo studies, 43 adult female rats were divided into 5 groups. For the first group or Sham, laminectomy was the only procedure performed, whereas for the other four groups, after laminectomy, a contusion Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) was induced, as well. In group 2, no treatment was performed. In the other groups, injection was performed 7 days after SCI, as such: in groups 3, 4, and 5 normal saline, BMSCs, and NSCs were injected, respectively. The injections were administered intraspinally (IS). Motor improvement was assessed via BBB test one day before SCI and continued up to 12 weeks afterwards in all groups. Results: The current study revealed that a considerable percentage of the cells were BMSCs after the fourth passage. These cells were then transformed into neurospheres and NSCs. In all the experimental cell-therapy groups, a significant motor improvement was observed in comparison with that in the control group. This healing was more obvious during the period between the 2nd and the 4th weeks and less prominent during the period between the 4th and the 12th weeks. Conclusion: Transplantation of NSCs leads to partial motor improvement in contusive rat models.