Impacts of Bone Marrow Stem Cells on Caspase-3 Levels after Spinal Cord Injury in Mice

Document Type: Brief Report(s)

Authors

1 Department of Physiology, College of Sciences, Fars Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Fars, Iran; and Department of Physiology, College of Sciences, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Physiology, College of Sciences, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran

3 Stem Cell Technology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a drastic disability that leads to spinal cord impairment. This study sought to determine the effects of bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) on caspase-3 levels after acute SCI in mice. Forty-two mice were randomly divided into 3 groups: control (2 subcategories), subjected to no intervention; sham (3 subcategories), subjected to acute SCI; and experimental (2 subcategories), subjected to SCI and cell transplantation. In the experimental group, 2×105 BMSCs were injected intravenously 1 day after SCI. The mesenchymal property of the cells was assessed. The animals in the 3 groups were sacrificed 1, 21, and 35 days after the induction of injury and caspase-3 levels were evaluated using a caspase-3 assay kit. The obtained values were analyzed with ANOVA and Tukey tests using GraphPad and SPSS. Based on the assessments, the transplanted cells were spindle-shaped and were negative for the hematopoietic markers of CD34 and CD45 and positive for the expression of the mesenchymal marker of CD90 and osteogenic induction. The caspase-3 levels showed a significant increase in the sham and experimental groups in comparison to the control group. One day after SCI, the caspase-3 level was significantly higher in the sham group (1.157±0.117) than in the other groups (P<0.000). Twenty-one days after SCI, the caspase-3 level was significantly lower in the experimental group than in the sham group (0.4±0.095 vs. 0.793±0.076; P˂0.000). Thirty-five days following SCI, the caspase-3 level was lower in the experimental group than in the sham group (0.223±0.027 vs. 0.643±0.058; P˂0.000). We conclude that BMSC transplantation was able to downregulate the caspase-3 level after acute SCI, underscoring the role of caspase-3 as a marker for the assessment of treatment efficacy in acute SCI.

Keywords