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Stem Cells International
Volume 2012, Article ID 738484, 15 pages
Research Article

Development of a Functional Schwann Cell Phenotype from Autologous Porcine Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cells for Nerve Repair

1Providence Health and Services, 9555 SW Barnes Rd., Portland, OR 97225, USA
2OHSU Center for Regenerative Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA
3Oregon Biomedical Engineering Institute, 25999 SW Canyon Creek Rd., Wilsonville, OR 97070, USA
4Portland VA Medical Center, 3710 SW U.S. Veterans Hospital Rd., Portland, OR 97239, USA

Received 17 February 2012; Accepted 29 March 2012

Academic Editor: J. Gimble

Copyright © 2012 Michael J. Rutten 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.


Adult bone marrow mononuclear cells (BM-MNCs) are a potential resource for making Schwann cells to repair damaged peripheral nerves. However, many methods of producing Schwann-like cells can be laborious with the cells lacking a functional phenotype. The objective of this study was to develop a simple and rapid method using autologous BM-MNCs to produce a phenotypic and functional Schwann-like cell. Adult porcine bone marrow was collected and enriched for BM-MNCs using a SEPAX device, then cells cultured in Neurobasal media, 4 mM L-glutamine and 20% serum. After 6–8 days, the cultures expressed Schwann cell markers, S-100, O4, GFAP, were FluoroMyelin positive, but had low p75(NGF) expression. Addition of neuregulin (1–25 nM) increased p75(NGF) levels at 24–48 hrs. We found ATP dose-dependently increased intracellular calcium [Ca2+]i, with nucleotide potency being U T P = A T P > A D P > A M P > a d e n o s i n e . Suramin blocked the ATP-induced [Ca2+]i but α, β,-methylene-ATP had little effect suggesting an ATP purinergic P2Y2 G-protein-coupled receptor is present. Both the Schwann cell markers and ATP-induced [Ca2+]i sensitivity decreased in cells passaged >20 times. Our studies indicate that autologous BM-MNCs can be induced to form a phenotypic and functional Schwann-like cell which could be used for peripheral nerve repair.