Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




To study the effect of undifferentiated bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) on peripheral nerve regeneration using a rat sciatic nerve regeneration model. In recent years, cell transplantation has become the focus of attention, and reliable outcomes have been achieved in regeneration of the sciatic nerve. Materials and methods: A 10-mm sciatic nerve defect was bridged using an inside-out vein graft (IOVG) filled with undifferentiated BMSCs (2 × 107 cells/mL). In the control group, the vein was filled with phosphate buffered saline alone. The regenerated fibers were studied 4, 8, and 12 weeks after surgery. Assessment of nerve regeneration was based on functional (walking track analysis), histomorphometric, and immunohistochemical (Schwann cell detection by S-100 expression) criteria. Results: The functional study confirmed significant recovery of regenerated axons in the IOVG/BMSC group (P < 0.05). Quantitative morphometric analyses of regenerated fibers showed that the number and diameter of myelinated fibers in the IOVG/BMSC group were significantly higher than in the control group (P < 0.05). Conclusion: This study demonstrates the potential of using undifferentiated BMSCs in peripheral nerve regeneration without limitations of donor-site morbidity associated with isolation of Schwann cells. It also reduces costs due to the simplicity of laboratory procedures compared to those for differentiated BMSCs and the reduction in the interval from tissue collection until cell injection.

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