Effect of combined intrathecal/intravenous injection of bone marrow derived stromal cells in platelet-rich plasma on spinal cord injury in companion animals
Background: Companion animals are prone to spinal cord injuries commonly associated with severe locomotor and sensory complications, which can escalate to a state of irreversible paralysis. Stem cell therapies propose a hope for treating spinal cord injuries via differentiation into neurons and associated glial cells, halting the immune attacks, inhibiting apoptosis and necrosis, and secretion of neurotrophic factors that stimulate the regeneration process.
Aim: The study aims to evaluate the use of autologous bone marrow derived stromal cells in platelet-rich plasma carrier for selected clinical cases having chronic spinal cord injuries in dogs and cats via a one-time combined intrathecal/ intravenous injection.
Methods: Cells were injected in five dogs and three cats suffering from disc protrusion leading to spinal cord injury and in thosewho did not respond to conventional treatment during a clinical trial.
Results: Results indicated that the transplanted cells led to the restoration of the weight bearing locomotor function and spinal reflexes in a period less than 90 days with physical rehabilitation. The treatment showed minor changes in the magnetic resonance images of extruded discs.
Conclusion: This study concluded that the combined intrathecal/intravenous injection of bone marrow stromal cells is a safe and promising procedure for treating chronic spinal cord injuries in companion animals.