Co-transplantation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and monocytes in the brain stem to repair the facial nerve axotomy
After the facial nerve axotomy (FNA), the distal end of the axon would gradually decay and disappear. Accumulated evidence shows that transplantation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) reveals potential in the treatment of nervous system diseases or injuries. This study is aimed at investigating the therapeutic effects of co-transplantation of BMSCs and monocytes in FNA. We found that co-culture significantly elevated the CD4+/CD8+ ratio and CD4+ CD25+ T cell proportion compared with monocytes transplantation, and enhanced the differentiation of BMSCs into neurons. After the cell transplantation, the lowest apoptosis in the facial nerve nucleus was found in the co-transplantation group 2 (BMSCs:monocytes= 1:30). Moreover, the lowest expression levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the highest expression levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines were observed in the co-transplantation group 2 (BMSCs: monocytes= 1:30). The highest expression levels of protein in the JAK/STAT6 pathway and the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis were found in the co-transplantation group 2. BMSC/monocyte co-transplantation significantly improves the microenvironment in the facial nerve nucleus in FNA rats; therefore these findings suggest that it could promote the anti-/pro-inflammatory balance shift towards the anti-inflammatory microenvironment, alleviating survival conditions for BMSCs, regulating BMSC the chemotaxis homing, differentiation, and the section of BMSCs, and finally reducing the neuronal apoptosis. These findings might provide essential evidence for the in-hospital treatment of FNA with co-transplantation of BMSCs and monocytes.
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