Validation study of neurotrophin-3-releasing chitosan facilitation of neural tissue generation in the severely injured adult rat spinal cord

Martin Oudega, Peng Hao, Junkui Shang, Agnes E. Haggerty, Zijue Wang, Jian Sun, Daniel J. Liebl, Yan Shi, Liming Cheng, Hongmei Duan, Yi Eve Sun, Xiaoguang Li, Vance P. Lemmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

It was previously reported that a tube holding chitosan carriers loaded with neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), after insertion into a 5 mm long transection gap in the adult rat spinal cord, triggered de novo neural tissue generation and functional recovery. Here, we report an effort to validate these findings using stringent blinding methodologies, which are crucial for robustness in reproducing biomedical studies. Radio frequency identification (RFID) chips were utilized to label rats that were randomly assigned into three experimental groups: transection with chitosan-NT-3 implant (C-NT3), transection only (T-controls), and laminectomy only (S-controls), blinding the experimenters to the treatments. Three months after surgery, animals only known by their RFID were functionally, electrophysiologically, and anatomically assessed. The data were then collected into the proper groups and statistically analyzed. Neural tissue with nestin-, Tuj1-, and NeuN-positive cells was found bridging the transection gap in C-NT3 rats, but not in T-controls. Motor- and somatosensory-evoked potentials were detected in C-NT3 rats and S-controls, but not in T-controls. Hind limb movement was significantly better in C-NT3 rats compared with T-controls. Our validation study indicates that C-NT3 implants facilitate neural tissue generation, at least in part, by eliciting endogenous neurogenesis. Our data support the use of C-NT3 implants for tissue remodeling in the injured spinal cord.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-62
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental neurology
Volume312
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Biomaterial
  • NT-3
  • Neurogenesis
  • Regeneration
  • Replication
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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