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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2015, Article ID 186385, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/186385
Research Article

Acute Putrescine Supplementation with Schwann Cell Implantation Improves Sensory and Serotonergic Axon Growth and Functional Recovery in Spinal Cord Injured Rats

1The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33136, USA
2Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10021, USA
3Department of Anesthesiology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY 10032, USA
4Department of Internal Medicine, University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
5Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33136, USA
6The Neuroscience Program, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33136, USA
7Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33136, USA

Received 11 March 2015; Revised 25 June 2015; Accepted 2 July 2015

Academic Editor: Bae Hwan Lee

Copyright © 2015 J. Bryan Iorgulescu 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

Schwann cell (SC) transplantation exhibits significant potential for spinal cord injury (SCI) repair and its use as a therapeutic modality has now progressed to clinical trials for subacute and chronic human SCI. Although SC implants provide a receptive environment for axonal regrowth and support functional recovery in a number of experimental SCI models, axonal regeneration is largely limited to local systems and the behavioral improvements are modest without additional combinatory approaches. In the current study we investigated whether the concurrent delivery of the polyamine putrescine, started either 30 min or 1 week after SCI, could enhance the efficacy of SCs when implanted subacutely (1 week after injury) into the contused rat spinal cord. Polyamines are ubiquitous organic cations that play an important role in the regulation of the cell cycle, cell division, cytoskeletal organization, and cell differentiation. We show that the combination of putrescine with SCs provides a significant increase in implant size, an enhancement in axonal (sensory and serotonergic) sparing and/or growth, and improved open field locomotion after SCI, as compared to SC implantation alone. These findings demonstrate that polyamine supplementation can augment the effectiveness of SCs when used as a therapeutic approach for subacute SCI repair.