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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 2018474, 11 pages
Research Article

Effects of Magnetically Guided, SPIO-Labeled, and Neurotrophin-3 Gene-Modified Bone Mesenchymal Stem Cells in a Rat Model of Spinal Cord Injury

1Department of Radiology, First Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan 030001, China
2Department of Molecular Biology, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030001, China

Received 9 February 2015; Revised 30 March 2015; Accepted 31 March 2015

Academic Editor: Jianjun Guan

Copyright © 2016 Rui-Ping 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.


Despite advances in our understanding of spinal cord injury (SCI) mechanisms, there are still no effective treatment approaches to restore functionality. Although many studies have demonstrated that transplanting NT3 gene-transfected bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) is an effective approach to treat SCI, the approach is often low efficient in the delivery of engrafted BMSCs to the site of injury. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic effects of magnetic targeting of NT3 gene-transfected BMSCs via lumbar puncture in a rat model of SCI. With the aid of a magnetic targeting cells delivery system, we can not only deliver the engrafted BMSCs to the site of injury more efficiently, but also perform cells imaging in vivo using MR. In addition, we also found that this composite strategy could significantly improve functional recovery and nerve regeneration compared to transplanting NT3 gene-transfected BMSCs without magnetic targeting system. Our results suggest that this composite strategy could be promising for clinical applications.