Objectives. To study possible nerve regeneration of a damaged auditory nerve by the use of stem cell transplantation. Methods. We transplanted HNPCs to the rat AN trunk by the internal auditory meatus (IAM). Furthermore, we studied if addition of BDNF affects survival and phenotypic differentiation of the grafted HNPCs. A bioactive nanofiber gel (PA gel), in selected groups mixed with BDNF, was applied close to the implanted cells. Before transplantation, all rats had been deafened by a round window niche application of β-bungarotoxin. This neurotoxin causes a selective toxic destruction of the AN while keeping the hair cells intact. Results. Overall, HNPCs survived well for up to six weeks in all groups. However, transplants receiving the BDNF-containing PA gel demonstrated significantly higher numbers of HNPCs and neuronal differentiation. At six weeks, a majority of the HNPCs had migrated into the brain stem and differentiated. Differentiated human cells as well as neurites were observed in the vicinity of the cochlear nucleus. Conclusion. Our results indicate that human neural precursor cells (HNPC) integration with host tissue benefits from additional brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) treatment and that these cells appear to be good candidates for further regenerative studies on the auditory nerve (AN).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)