Stem cells provide novel sources of cell therapies for motor neuron disease that have recently entered clinical trials. In the present study, we transplanted human neural stem cells (NSCs) into the ventral horn of both the lumbar (L4-L5) and cervical (C4-C5) protuberance of SOD1 G93A rats, in an effort to test the feasibility and general efficacy of a dual grafting paradigm addressing several muscle groups in the front limbs, hind limbs and the respiratory apparatus. Transplantation was done prior to the onset of motor neuron disease. Compared with animals that had received dead NSC grafts (serving as controls), rats with live NSCs grafted at the two spinal levels lived 17 days longer. Disease onset in dually grafted animals was delayed by 10 days compared to control animals. Disease duration in NSC-grafted animals was longer by 7 days compared to controls. Our results support the potential of NSC grafts at multiple levels of spinal cord as future cellular therapy for motor neuron disease.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Animal models
- Cell therapies
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