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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 1972608, 11 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/1972608
Research Article

The Neuroprotective Effects of Muscle-Derived Stem Cells via Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Spinal Cord Injury Model

1Department of Neurobiology, Jinzhou Medical University, Jinzhou, Liaoning Province 121000, China
2Department of Orthopedics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Jinzhou Medical University, Jinzhou, Liaoning Province 121000, China
3Department of Immunology, Jinzhou Medical University, Jinzhou, Liaoning Province 121000, China
4Department of Endocrinology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Jinzhou Medical University, Jinzhou, Liaoning Province 121000, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Chang Liu; moc.kooltuo@iemxuilc and Xifan Mei; moc.kooltuo@iemfx

Received 22 January 2017; Revised 6 April 2017; Accepted 13 April 2017; Published 5 July 2017

Academic Editor: John H. Zhang

Copyright © 2017 Donghe Han 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.

Abstract

Muscle-derived stem cells (MDSCs) possess multipotent differentiation and self-renewal capacities; however, the effects and mechanism in neuron injury remain unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of MDSCs on neuron secondary injury, oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. An in vivo study showed the Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan (BBB) score and number of neurons significantly increased after MDSCs’ transplantation in spinal cord injury (SCI) rats. An in vitro study demonstrated that MDSCs attenuated neuron apoptosis, and the expression of antioxidants was upregulated as well as the ratio of Bcl-2 and Bax in the MNT (MDSCs cocultured with injured neurons) group compared with the NT (injured neurons) group. Both LC3II/LC3I and β-catenin were enhanced in the MNT group, while XAV939 (a β-catenin inhibitor) decreased the expression of nuclear erythroid-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and LC3II/LC3I. Moreover, MDSCs became NSE- (neuron-specific enolase-) positive neuron-like cells with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) treatment. The correlation analysis indicated that there was a significant relation between the level of BDNF and neuron injury. These findings suggest that MDSCs may protect the spinal cord from injury by inhibiting apoptosis and replacing injured neurons, and the increased BDNF and β-catenin could contribute to MDSCs’ effects.