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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 573169, 6 pages
Research Article

Intravenous Transplantation of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells to Enhance Peripheral Nerve Regeneration

1Department of Plastic, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, Hannover Medical School, 30659 Hannover, Germany
2Department of Neurology and Center for Neuroscience and Regeneration Research, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06510, USA
3Rehabilitation Research Center, Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT 06516, USA

Received 7 August 2013; Revised 7 October 2013; Accepted 7 October 2013

Academic Editor: Ji Wu

Copyright © 2013 Stella M. Matthes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Peripheral nerve injury is a common and devastating complication after trauma and can cause irreversible impairment or even complete functional loss of the affected limb. While peripheral nerve repair results in some axonal regeneration and functional recovery, the clinical outcome is not optimal and research continues to optimize functional recovery after nerve repair. Cell transplantation approaches are being used experimentally to enhance regeneration. Intravenous infusion of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) into spinal cord injury and stroke was shown to improve functional outcome. However, the repair potential of intravenously transplanted MSCs in peripheral nerve injury has not been addressed yet. Here we describe the impact of intravenously infused MSCs on functional outcome in a peripheral nerve injury model. Rat sciatic nerves were transected followed, by intravenous MSCs transplantation. Footprint analysis was carried out and 21 days after transplantation, the nerves were removed for histology. Labelled MSCs were found in the sciatic nerve lesion site after intravenous injection and regeneration was improved. Intravenously infused MSCs after acute peripheral nerve target the lesion site and survive within the nerve and the MSC treated group showed greater functional improvement. The results of study suggest that nerve repair with cell transplantation could lead to greater functional outcome.