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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 1814-1820

Reducing host aldose reductase activity promotes neuronal differentiation of transplanted neural stem cells at spinal cord injury sites and facilitates locomotion recovery


1 Department of Neurobiology and Institute of Neurosciences, School of Basic Medicine, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province; Key Laboratory of Spine and Spinal Cord Injury Repair and Regeneration, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
2 Department of Spine Surgery, Shenzhen University General Hospital, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China
3 Department of Neurobiology and Institute of Neurosciences, School of Basic Medicine, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China
4 Department of Neurology, Hainan Hospital of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Sanya, Hainan Province, China
5 Department of Anesthesiology, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China
6 Faculty of Medicine, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau Special Administrative Region, China

Correspondence Address:
Hui-Ren Tao
Department of Spine Surgery, Shenzhen University General Hospital, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province
China
Ya-Zhou Wang
Department of Neurobiology and Institute of Neurosciences, School of Basic Medicine, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province
China
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Source of Support: The study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Nos. 81601056 (to KZ), 81901252 (to QZ); Shaanxi Key Research and Development Program of China, No. 2020SF-083 (to KZ); Sanming Project of Medicine in Shenzhen of China, No. SZSM201911011 (to SXW); and the Key Laboratory of Spine and Spinal Cord Injury Repair and Regeneration (Tongji University, Ministry of Education) of China (to KZ), Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.330624

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Neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation is a promising strategy for replacing lost neurons following spinal cord injury. However, the survival and differentiation of transplanted NSCs is limited, possibly owing to the neurotoxic inflammatory microenvironment. Because of the important role of glucose metabolism in M1/M2 polarization of microglia/macrophages, we hypothesized that altering the phenotype of microglia/macrophages by regulating the activity of aldose reductase (AR), a key enzyme in the polyol pathway of glucose metabolism, would provide a more beneficial microenvironment for NSC survival and differentiation. Here, we reveal that inhibition of host AR promoted the polarization of microglia/macrophages toward the M2 phenotype in lesioned spinal cord injuries. M2 macrophages promoted the differentiation of NSCs into neurons in vitro. Transplantation of NSCs into injured spinal cords either deficient in AR or treated with the AR inhibitor sorbinil promoted the survival and neuronal differentiation of NSCs at the injured spinal cord site and contributed to locomotor functional recovery. Our findings suggest that inhibition of host AR activity is beneficial in enhancing the survival and neuronal differentiation of transplanted NSCs and shows potential as a treatment of spinal cord injury.


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