Synergistic Effects of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation and Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Promoting Autophagy and Synaptic Plasticity in Vascular Dementia

Fei Wang, Chi Zhang, Siyuan Hou, Xin Geng, Isabel Beerman, Joshua Hare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) transplantation both showed therapeutic effects on cognition impairment in vascular dementia (VD) model rats. However, whether these two therapies have synergistic effects and the molecular mechanisms remain unclear. In our present study, rats were randomly divided into six groups: Control group, sham operation group, VD group, MSC group, rTMS group, and MSC+rTMS group. The VD model rats were prepared using a modified 2VO method. rTMS treatment was implemented at a frequency of 5 Hz, the stimulation intensity for 0.5 Tesla, 20 strings every day with 10 pulses per string and six treatment courses. The results of the Morris water maze test showed that the learning and memory abilities of the MSC group, rTMS group, and MSC+rTMS group were better than that of the VD group, and the MSC+rTMS group showed the most significant effect. The protein expression levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, NR1, LC3-II, and Beclin-1 were the highest and p62 protein was the lowest in the MSC+rTMS group. Our findings demonstrated that rTMS could further enhance the effect of MSC transplantation on VD rats and provided an important basis for the combined application of MSC transplantation and rTMS to treat VD or other neurological diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1341-1350
Number of pages10
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 16 2019



  • Autophagy
  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
  • Marrow mesenchymal stem cells
  • Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Vascular dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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