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AUG 30, 2016 8:00 AM PDT

Transplanted human stem cell-derived interneuron precursors mitigate mouse bladder dysfunction and central neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury

Speaker
  • Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Neurona Therapeutics, Assistant Professor, Adjunct, University of California, San Francisco, United States
    BIOGRAPHY

Abstract
Neuropathic pain and bladder dysfunction represent significant quality of life issues for many spinal cord injury patients. Loss of GABAergic tone in the injured spinal cord may contribute to the emergence of these symptoms. Previous studies have shown that transplantation of rodent inhibitory interneuron precursors from the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) enhance GABAergic signaling in the brain and spinal cord. Here we look at whether transplanted MGE-like cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESC-MGEs) can mitigate the pathological effects of spinal cord injury. We find that six months after transplantation into injured mouse spinal cords, hESC-MGEs differentiate into GABAergic neuron subtypes and receive synaptic inputs, suggesting functional integration into host spinal cord. Moreover, the transplanted animals showed improved bladder function and mitigation of pain-related symptoms. Our results therefore suggest that this approach may be a valuable strategy for ameliorating the adverse effects of spinal cord injury.
 

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