Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 6, pp 725–733 | Cite as

Transplantation of adult spinal cord grafts into spinal cord transected rats improves their locomotor function

  • He Shen
  • Xi Chen
  • Xing Li
  • Ke Jia
  • Zhifeng Xiao
  • Jianwu DaiEmail author
Cover Article


Grafted embryonic central neural tissue pieces can recover function of hemisected spinal cord in neonatal rats and promote axonal growth in adults. However, spinal cord segments from adults have not been used as donor segments for allogeneic transplantation. Here, we utilized adult spinal cord tissue grafts (aSCGs) as donor constructs for repairing complete spinal cord injury (SCI). Moreover, to provide a favourable microenvironment for SCI treatment, a growth factor cocktail containing three growth factors (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neurotrophin-3 and vascular endothelial growth factor), was applied to the aSCG transplants. We found that the locomotor function was significantly improved 12 weeks after transplantation of aSCGs into the spinal cord lesion site in adult rats. Transplantation of aSCGs combined with these growth factors enhanced neuron and oligodendrocyte survival and functional restoration. These encouraging results indicate that treatment of complete SCI by transplanting aSCGs, especially in the presence of growth factors, has a positive effect on motor functional recovery, and therefore could be considered as a possible therapeutic strategy for SCI.


spinal cord injury (SCI) transplantation adult spinal cord grafts (aSCGs) function recovery adult host transection 



This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81891002) and the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA16020100).

Supplementary material

11427_2019_9490_MOESM1_ESM.docx (799 kb)
Transplantation of adult spinal cord grafts into spinal cord transected rats improves their locomotor function


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • He Shen
    • 1
  • Xi Chen
    • 3
  • Xing Li
    • 2
    • 4
  • Ke Jia
    • 3
  • Zhifeng Xiao
    • 2
  • Jianwu Dai
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Nano-Bio Interface Research, Division of Nanobiomedicine, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-BionicsChinese Academy of SciencesSuzhouChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Molecular Developmental Biology, Institute of Genetics and Developmental BiologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Shigatse Branch, Xinqiao HospitalArmy Medical University (Third Military Medical University)ShigatseChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Organ Injury, Aging and Regenerative Medicine of Hunan Province, Xiangya HospitalCentral South UniversityChangshaChina

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