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Stem Cells International
Volume 2014, Article ID 437521, 8 pages
Research Article

Use of Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cells Derived from Bone Marrow for the Treatment of Naturally Injured Spinal Cord in Dogs

1Centro de Pesquisas Gonçalo Moniz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, 40296-710 Salvador, BA, Brazil
2Hospital de Medicina Veterinária, Escola de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade Federal da Bahia, 40170-110 Salvador, BA, Brazil
3Departamento de Ciências da Vida, Universidade do Estado da Bahia, 41150-000 Salvador, BA, Brazil
4Hospital Espanhol, 40140-110 Salvador, BA, Brazil
5A Arca Veterinária, 40243-045 Salvador, BA, Brazil
6Estácio-FIB, Centro Universitário Estácio da Bahia, 41770-030 Salvador, BA, Brazil
7Centro de Biotecnologia e Terapia Celular, Hospital São Rafael, 41253-190 Salvador, BA, Brazil

Received 15 September 2013; Accepted 16 January 2014; Published 25 February 2014

Academic Editor: Eva Mezey

Copyright © 2014 Euler Moraes Penha 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.


The use of stem cells in injury repair has been extensively investigated. Here, we examined the therapeutic effects of autologous bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) transplantation in four dogs with natural traumatic spinal cord injuries. MSC were cultured in vitro, and proliferation rate and cell viability were evaluated. Cell suspensions were prepared and surgically administered into the spinal cord. The animals were clinically evaluated and examined by nuclear magnetic resonance. Ten days after the surgical procedure and MSC transplantation, we observed a progressive recovery of the panniculus reflex and diminished superficial and deep pain response, although there were still low proprioceptive reflexes in addition to a hyperreflex in the ataxic hind limb movement responses. Each dog demonstrated an improvement in these gains over time. Conscious reflex recovery occurred simultaneously with moderate improvement in intestine and urinary bladder functions in two of the four dogs. By the 18th month of clinical monitoring, we observed a remarkable clinical amelioration accompanied by improved movement, in three of the four dogs. However, no clinical gain was associated with alterations in magnetic resonance imaging. Our results indicate that MSC are potential candidates for the stem cell therapy following spinal cord injury.