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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 724857, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/724857
Research Article

Self-Assembling Peptide Nanofiber Scaffold Enhanced with RhoA Inhibitor CT04 Improves Axonal Regrowth in the Transected Spinal Cord

1Department of Histology and Embryology, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China
2Department of Anatomy, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
3Department of Neurology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232, USA
4Department of Histology and Embryology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China
5Joint Laboratory for Brain Function and Health (BFAH), Jinan University and The University of Hong Kong, Guangzhou 510630, China
6State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Received 15 December 2011; Revised 14 March 2012; Accepted 18 March 2012

Academic Editor: Xiaoyi Wu

Copyright © 2012 Weiwei Zhang 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

The present study was designed to explore the therapeutic potential of self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold (SAPNS) delivered RhoA inhibitor to ameliorate the hostile microenvironment of injured spinal cord for axonal regeneration. After a transection was applied to the thoracic spinal cord of mice, the combination of SAPNS and CT04 (a cell permeable RhoA inhibitor), single SAPNS with vehicle, or saline was transplanted into the lesion cavity. Results showed that SAPNS+CT04 implants achieved the best therapeutic outcomes among treatment groups. The novel combination not only reconstructed the injured nerve gap but also elicited significant axonal regeneration and motor functional recovery. Additionally, the combination also effectively reduced the apoptosis and infiltration of activated macrophages in the injured spinal cord. Collectively, the present study demonstrated that SAPNS-based delivery of RhoA inhibitor CT04 presented a highly potential therapeutic strategy for spinal cord injury with reknitting lesion gap, attenuating secondary injury, and improving axonal regrowth.