The objective of this study was to evaluate 2 years post-surgical loss of three-dimensional correction in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients using multi-planar reconstruction computed tomography (CT).
Twenty-seven AIS patients treated by segmental pedicle screw (PS) constructs were included in this study. Correction in the axial plane was evaluated using the “relative apical vertebral rotation angle” (rAVR), defined as the difference between the axial rotation angles of the upper instrumented vertebra and the apical vertebra on reconstructed axial CT images. The Cobb angle of the main curve and apical vertebral translation was measured to evaluate the coronal correction. Thoracic kyphosis was also measured for the evaluation of sagittal profile. Measurements were performed before surgery, and 1 week and 2 years after surgery. The relationships between the correction losses and skeletal maturity, and variety of spinal constructs were also evaluated.
The mean preoperative Cobb angle of the major curve was 59.1° ± 11.2° before and 13.0° ± 7.2° immediately after surgery. Two years later, the mean Cobb angle had increased significantly, to 15.5° ± 7.8°, with a mean correction loss of 2.5° ± 1.5° (p < 0.001). The mean preoperative rAVR of 28.5° ± 8.4° was corrected to 15.8° ± 7.8° after surgery. It had increased significantly to 18.5 ± 8.4 by 2 years after surgery, with a mean correction loss of 2.7° ± 1.0° (p < 0.001). The mean correction losses for both the Cobb angle and rAVR were significantly greater in the skeletally immature patients. The significant correlations were recognized between the correction losses and the proportion of multi-axial screws, and the materials of constructs.
Statistically significant loss of correction in the Cobb angle and apical vertebral axial rotation angle (AVR) were recognized 2 years after surgery using PS constructs. The correction losses, especially AVR, were more evident in the skeletally immature patients, and in patients treated with more multi-axial screws and with titanium constructs rather than with stainless constructs.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; Apical vertebral rotation; Correction loss; Coronal correction
We conducted a survey of adults in Kotohira, a town of about 10,000 people located in the Nakatado District of Kagawa Prefecture, Japan. The survey was distributed to 8184 individuals, and effective responses were received from 3863 persons (response rate, 47.2%) during the survey period. Results regarding numbness and pain showed numbness alone in 7.7%, pain alone in 7.2%, both numbness and pain in 6.0%, and neither numbness nor pain in 79.6%. Spine and spinal cord damage was reported present by 5.4%, and absent by 94.6%. Analysis using the Short-Form Health Survey questionnaire, with comparison between subjects reporting both numbness and pain in the extremities and subjects with either numbness or pain alone, showed lower scores for in Short-Form Health Survey subscales (physical functioning, role [physical, emotional], bodily pain, vitality, and mental health). Subjects with numbness alone generally reported no disability in daily life. In a secondary survey, analysis of neurological findings by specialists identified 6 cases of “pain following spinal cord damage” in which spinal cord-related pain developed in the hands or feet. This represented 0.15% of the survey population starting from the primary survey.
The transplantation of neural stem/progenitor cells (NS/PCs) at the sub-acute phase of spinal cord injury, but not at the chronic phase, can promote functional recovery. However, the reasons for this difference and whether it involves the survival and/or fate of grafted cells under these two conditions remain unclear. To address this question, NS/PC transplantation was performed after contusive spinal cord injury in adult mice at the sub-acute and chronic phases.
Quantitative analyses using bio-imaging, which can noninvasively detect surviving grafted cells in living animals, revealed no significant difference in the survival rate of grafted cells between the sub-acute and chronic transplantation groups. Additionally, immunohistology revealed no significant difference in the differentiation phenotypes of grafted cells between the two groups. Microarray analysis revealed no significant differences in the expression of genes encoding inflammatory cytokines or growth factors, which affect the survival and/or fate of grafted cells, in the injured spinal cord between the sub-acute and chronic phases. By contrast, the distribution of chronically grafted NS/PCs was restricted compared to NS/PCs grafted at the sub-acute phase because a more prominent glial scar located around the lesion epicenter enclosed the grafted cells. Furthermore, microarray and histological analysis revealed that the infiltration of macrophages, especially M2 macrophages, which have anti-inflammatory role, was significantly higher at the sub-acute phase than the chronic phase. Ultimately, NS/PCs that were transplanted in the sub-acute phase, but not the chronic phase, promoted functional recovery compared with the vehicle control group.
The extent of glial scar formation and the characteristics of inflammation is the most remarkable difference in the injured spinal cord microenvironment between the sub-acute and chronic phases. To achieve functional recovery by NS/PC transplantation in cases at the chronic phase, modification of the microenvironment of the injured spinal cord focusing on glial scar formation and inflammatory phenotype should be considered.
Spinal cord injury; Neural stem/progenitor cells; Cell transplantation; Chronic phase; Microenvironment
The paranodal junction is a specialized axon-glia contact zone that is important for normal neuronal activity and behavioral locomotor function in the central nervous system (CNS). Histological examination has been the only method for detecting pathological paranodal junction conditions. Recently, diffusion tensor MRI (DTI) has been used to detect microstructural changes in various CNS diseases. This study was conducted to determine whether MRI and DTI could detect structural changes in the paranodal junctions of the spinal cord in cerebroside sulfotransferase knock-out (CST-KO) mice. Here, we showed that high-resolution MRI and DTI characteristics can reflect paranodal junction failure in CST-KO mice. We found significantly lower T1 times and significantly higher T2 times in the spinal cord MRIs of CST-KO mice as compared to wild-type (WT) mice. Spinal cord DTI showed significantly lower axial diffusivity and significantly higher radial diffusivity in CST-KO mice as compared to WT mice. In contrast, the histological differences in the paranodal junctions of WT and CST-KO mice were so subtle that electron microscopy or immunohistological analyses were necessary to detect them. We also measured gait disturbance in the CST-KO mice, and determined the conduction latency by electrophysiology. These findings demonstrate the potential of using MRI and DTI to evaluate white matter disorders that involve paranodal junction failure.
Murine and human iPSC-NS/PCs (induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural stem/progenitor cells) promote functional recovery following transplantation into the injured spinal cord in rodents. However, for clinical applicability, it is critical to obtain proof of the concept regarding the efficacy of grafted human iPSC-NS/PCs (hiPSC-NS/PCs) for the repair of spinal cord injury (SCI) in a non-human primate model. This study used a pre-evaluated “safe” hiPSC-NS/PC clone and an adult common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) model of contusive SCI. SCI was induced at the fifth cervical level (C5), followed by transplantation of hiPSC-NS/PCs at 9 days after injury. Behavioral analyses were performed from the time of the initial injury until 12 weeks after SCI. Grafted hiPSC-NS/PCs survived and differentiated into all three neural lineages. Furthermore, transplantation of hiPSC-NS/PCs enhanced axonal sparing/regrowth and angiogenesis, and prevented the demyelination after SCI compared with that in vehicle control animals. Notably, no tumor formation occurred for at least 12 weeks after transplantation. Quantitative RT-PCR showed that mRNA expression levels of human neurotrophic factors were significantly higher in cultured hiPSC-NS/PCs than in human dermal fibroblasts (hDFs). Finally, behavioral tests showed that hiPSC-NS/PCs promoted functional recovery after SCI in the common marmoset. Taken together, these results indicate that pre-evaluated safe hiPSC-NS/PCs are a potential source of cells for the treatment of SCI in the clinic.
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are known to develop lymphoproliferative disorders (LPDs) during the course of illness, particularly in cases treated with methotrexate (MTX) for long periods. We describe a case of MTX-related Epstein-Barr-virus-(EBV-) associated LPD resembling Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL), in which a dramatic complete remission was achieved after withdrawal of MTX coupled with clarithromycin (CAM) administration. Withdrawal of MTX coupled with CAM administration seemed to be effective for treating MTX-related EBV-associated LPDs. In particular, an immunomodulative effect of CAM might have been involved in achieving complete remission.
Systemic steroid injections are used to treat idiopathic sudden-onset sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) and some inner ear disorders. Recent studies show that transtympanic (TT) steroid injections are effective for treating ISSHL. As in vivo monitoring of drug delivery dynamics for inner ear is lacking, its time course and dispersion of drugs is unknown. Here, we used a new in vivo imaging system to monitor drug delivery in live mice and to compare drug concentrations over time after TT and systemic injections.
Luciferin delivered into the inner ears of GFAP-Luc transgenic mice reacted with luciferase in GFAP-expressing cells in the cochlear spiral ganglion, resulting in photon bioluminescence. We used the Xenogen IVIS® imaging system to measure how long photons continued to be emitted in the inner ear after TT or systemic injections of luciferin, and then compared the associated drug dynamics.
The response to TT and IP injections differed significantly. Photons were detected five minutes after TT injection, peaking at ∼20 minutes. By contrast, photons were first detected 30 minutes after i.p. injection. TT and i.p. drug delivery time differed considerably. With TT injections, photons were detected earlier than with IP injections. Photon bioluminescence also disappeared sooner. Delivery time varied with TT injections.
We speculate that the drug might enter the Eustachian tube from the middle ear. We conclude that inner-ear drug concentration can be maintained longer if the two injection routes are combined. As the size of luciferin differs from that of therapeutics like dexamethasone, combining drugs with luciferin may advance our understanding of in vivo drug delivery dynamics in the inner ear.
The common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) is a small New World primate that has been used as a non-human primate model for various biomedical studies. We previously demonstrated that transplantation of neural stem/progenitor cells (NS/PCs) derived from mouse and human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) promote functional locomotor recovery of mouse spinal cord injury models. However, for the clinical application of such a therapeutic approach, we need to evaluate the efficacy and safety of pluripotent stem cell-derived NS/PCs not only by xenotransplantation, but also allotransplantation using non-human primate models to assess immunological rejection and tumorigenicity. In the present study, we established a culture method to efficiently derive NS/PCs as neurospheres from common marmoset ESCs. Marmoset ESC-derived neurospheres could be passaged repeatedly and showed sequential generation of neurons and astrocytes, similar to that of mouse ESC-derived NS/PCs, and gave rise to functional neurons as indicated by calcium imaging. Although marmoset ESC-derived NS/PCs could not differentiate into oligodendrocytes under default culture conditions, these cells could abundantly generate oligodendrocytes by incorporating additional signals that recapitulate in vivo neural development. Moreover, principal component analysis of microarray data demonstrated that marmoset ESC-derived NS/PCs acquired similar gene expression profiles to those of fetal brain-derived NS/PCs by repeated passaging. Therefore, marmoset ESC-derived NS/PCs may be useful not only for accurate evaluation by allotransplantation of NS/PCs into non-human primate models, but are also applicable to analysis of iPSCs established from transgenic disease model marmosets.
Reports of functional recovery from spinal cord injury after the transplantation of rat fetus-derived neural stem cells and embryonic stem cells has raised great expectations for the successful clinical use of stem cell transplantation therapy. However, the ethical issues involved in destroying human embryos or fertilized oocytes to obtain stem cells have been a major obstacle to developing clinically useful stem cell sources, and the transplantation of stem cells isolated from other human embryonic tissues has not yet been developed for use in clinical applications. Recently, induced pluripotent stem cells, which can serve as a source of cells for autologous transplantation, have been attracting a great deal of attention as a clinically viable alternative to stem cells obtained directly from tissues. In this review, we outline the neural induction of mouse embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells, their therapeutic efficacy in spinal cord injury, and their safety in vivo.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13311-011-0063-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Induced pluripotent stem cells; Embryonic stem cells; Neural differentiation; Cell transplantation; Spinal cord injury; Safety
The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that direct vertebral derotation by pedicle screws (PS) causes hypokyphosis of the thoracic spine in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients, using computer simulation.
Twenty AIS patients with Lenke type 1 or 2 who underwent posterior correction surgeries using PS were included in this study. Simulated corrections of each patient’s scoliosis, as determined by the preoperative CT scan data, were performed on segmented 3D models of the whole spine. Two types of simulated extreme correction were performed: 1) complete coronal correction only (C method) and 2) complete coronal correction with complete derotation of vertebral bodies (C + D method). The kyphosis angle (T5-T12) and vertebral rotation angle at the apex were measured before and after the simulated corrections.
The mean kyphosis angle after the C + D method was significantly smaller than that after the C method (2.7 ± 10.0° vs. 15.0 ± 7.1°, p < 0.01). The mean preoperative apical rotation angle of 15.2 ± 5.5° was completely corrected after the C + D method (0°) and was unchanged after the C method (17.6 ± 4.2°).
In the 3D simulation study, kyphosis was reduced after complete correction of the coronal and rotational deformity, but it was maintained after the coronal-only correction. These results proved the hypothesis that the vertebral derotation obtained by PS causes hypokyphosis of the thoracic spine.
Recent in vivo and in vitro studies in non-neuronal and neuronal tissues have shown that different pathways of macrophage activation result in cells with different properties. Interleukin (IL)-6 triggers the classically activated inflammatory macrophages (M1 phenotype), whereas the alternatively activated macrophages (M2 phenotype) are anti-inflammatory. The objective of this study was to clarify the effects of a temporal blockade of IL-6/IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) engagement, using an anti-mouse IL-6R monoclonal antibody (MR16-1), on macrophage activation and the inflammatory response in the acute phase after spinal cord injury (SCI) in mice.
MR16-1 antibodies versus isotype control antibodies or saline alone were administered immediately after thoracic SCI in mice. SC tissue repair was compared between the two groups by Luxol fast blue (LFB) staining for myelination and immunoreactivity for the neuronal markers growth-associated protein (GAP)-43 and neurofilament heavy 200 kDa (NF-H) and for locomotor function. The expression of T helper (Th)1 cytokines (interferon (IFN)-γ and tumor necrosis factor-α) and Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-13) was determined by immunoblot analysis. The presence of M1 (inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)-positive, CD16/32-positive) and M2 (arginase 1-positive, CD206-positive) macrophages was determined by immunohistology. Using flow cytometry, we also quantified IFN-γ and IL-4 levels in neutrophils, microglia, and macrophages, and Mac-2 (macrophage antigen-2) and Mac-3 in M2 macrophages and microglia.
LFB-positive spared myelin was increased in the MR16-1-treated group compared with the controls, and this increase correlated with enhanced positivity for GAP-43 or NF-H, and improved locomotor Basso Mouse Scale scores. Immunoblot analysis of the MR16-1-treated samples identified downregulation of Th1 and upregulation of Th2 cytokines. Whereas iNOS-positive, CD16/32-positive M1 macrophages were the predominant phenotype in the injured SC of non-treated control mice, MR16-1 treatment promoted arginase 1-positive, CD206-positive M2 macrophages, with preferential localization of these cells at the injury site. MR16-1 treatment suppressed the number of IFN-γ-positive neutrophils, and increased the number of microglia present and their positivity for IL-4. Among the arginase 1-positive M2 macrophages, MR16-1 treatment increased positivity for Mac-2 and Mac-3, suggestive of increased phagocytic behavior.
The results suggest that temporal blockade of IL-6 signaling after SCI abrogates damaging inflammatory activity and promotes functional recovery by promoting the formation of alternatively activated M2 macrophages.
Spinal cord injury; Interleukin (IL)-6/IL6 receptor (R); Alternatively activated macrophage; Arginase 1; Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS); T helper (Th) cytokine
Many therapeutic interventions for spinal cord injury (SCI) using neurotrophic factors have focused on reducing the area damaged by secondary, post-injury degeneration, to promote functional recovery. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), which is a potent mitogen for mature hepatocytes and a mediator of the inflammatory responses to tissue injury, was recently highlighted as a potent neurotrophic factor in the central nervous system. We previously reported that introducing exogenous HGF into the injured rodent spinal cord using a herpes simplex virus-1 vector significantly reduces the area of damaged tissue and promotes functional recovery. However, that study did not examine the therapeutic effects of administering HGF after injury, which is the most critical issue for clinical application. To translate this strategy to human treatment, we induced a contusive cervical SCI in the common marmoset, a primate, and then administered recombinant human HGF (rhHGF) intrathecally. Motor function was assessed using an original open field scoring system focusing on manual function, including reach-and-grasp performance and hand placement in walking. The intrathecal rhHGF preserved the corticospinal fibers and myelinated areas, thereby promoting functional recovery. In vivo magnetic resonance imaging showed significant preservation of the intact spinal cord parenchyma. rhHGF-treatment did not give rise to an abnormal outgrowth of calcitonin gene related peptide positive fibers compared to the control group, indicating that this treatment did not induce or exacerbate allodynia. This is the first study to report the efficacy of rhHGF for treating SCI in non-human primates. In addition, this is the first presentation of a novel scale for assessing neurological motor performance in non-human primates after contusive cervical SCI.
The migratory response of astrocytes is essential for restricting inflammation and preserving tissue function after spinal cord injury (SCI), but the mechanisms involved are poorly understood. Here, we observed stimulation of in vitro astrocyte migration by the new potent glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) inhibitor Ro3303544 and investigated the effect of Ro3303544 administration for 5 days following SCI in mice. This treatment resulted in accelerated migration of reactive astrocytes to sequester inflammatory cells that spared myelinated fibres and significantly promoted functional recovery. Moreover, the decreased extent of chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans and collagen IV demonstrated that scarring was reduced in Ro3303544-treated mice. A variety of in vitro and in vivo experiments further suggested that GSK-3 inhibition stimulated astrocyte migration by decreasing adhesive activity via reduced surface expression of β1-integrin. Our results reveal a novel benefit of GSK-3 inhibition for SCI and suggest that the stimulation of astrocyte migration is a feasible therapeutic strategy for traumatic injury in the central nervous system.
astrocyte; glial scar; GSK-3; migration; spinal cord injury
Transplantation of human neural stem/progenitor cells (hNSPCs) is a promising method to regenerate tissue from damage and recover function in various neurological diseases including brain ischemia. Galectin-1(Gal1) is a lectin that is expressed in damaged brain areas after ischemia. Here, we characterized the detailed Gal1 expression pattern in an animal model of brain ischemia. After brain ischemia, Gal1 was expressed in reactive astrocytes within and around the infarcted region, and its expression diminished over time. Previously, we showed that infusion of human Gal1 protein (hGal1) resulted in functional recovery after brain ischemia but failed to reduce the volume of the ischemic region. This prompted us to examine whether the combination of hNSPCs-transplantation and stable delivery of hGal1 around the ischemic region could reduce the ischemic volume and promote better functional recovery after brain ischemia. In this study, we transplanted hNSPCs that stably overexpressed hGal1 (hGal1-hNSPCs) in a model of unilateral focal brain ischemia using Mongolian gerbils. Indeed, we found that transplantation of hGal1-hNSPCs both reduced the ischemic volume and improved deficits in motor function after brain ischemia to a greater extent than the transplantation of hNSPCs alone. This study provides evidence for a potential application of hGal1 with hNSPCs-transplantation in the treatment of brain ischemia.
The olfactory epithelium (OE) has a unique capacity for continuous neurogenesis, extending axons to the olfactory bulb with the assistance of olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs). The OE and OECs have been believed to develop solely from the olfactory placode, while the neural crest (NC) cells have been believed to contribute only the underlying structural elements of the olfactory system. In order to further elucidate the role of NC cells in olfactory development, we examined the olfactory system in the transgenic mice Wnt1-Cre/Floxed-EGFP and P0-Cre/Floxed-EGFP, in which migrating NC cells and its descendents permanently express GFP, and conducted transposon-mediated cell lineage tracing studies in chick embryos.
Examination of these transgenic mice revealed GFP-positive cells in the OE, demonstrating that NC-derived cells give rise to OE cells with morphologic and antigenic properties identical to placode-derived cells. OECs were also positive for GFP, confirming their NC origin. Cell lineage tracing studies performed in chick embryos confirmed the migration of NC cells into the OE. Furthermore, spheres cultured from the dissociated cells of the olfactory mucosa demonstrated self-renewal and trilineage differentiation capacities (neurons, glial cells, and myofibroblasts), demonstrating the presence of NC progenitors in the olfactory mucosa.
Our data demonstrates that the NC plays a larger role in the development of the olfactory system than previously believed, and suggests that NC-derived cells may in part be responsible for the remarkable capacity of the OE for neurogenesis and regeneration.
neural crest; olfactory placode; olfactory ensheathing cell; neural crest progenitor cell; P0-Cre; Wnt1-Cre; Sox10; chick embryo
Multipotent somatic stem cells have been identified in various adult tissues. However, the stem/progenitor cells of the peripheral nerves have been isolated only from fetal tissues. Here, we isolated Schwann-cell precursors/immature Schwann cells from the injured peripheral nerves of adult mice using a floating culture technique that we call “Schwann-spheres." The Schwann-spheres were derived from de-differentiated mature Schwann cells harvested 24 hours to 6 weeks after peripheral nerve injury. They had extensive self-renewal and differentiation capabilities. They strongly expressed the immature-Schwann-cell marker p75, and differentiated only into the Schwann-cell lineage. The spheres showed enhanced myelin formation and neurite growth compared to mature Schwann cells in vitro. Mature Schwann cells have been considered a promising candidate for cell-transplantation therapies to repair the damaged nervous system, whereas these “Schwann-spheres" would provide a more potential autologous cell source for such transplantation.
Recent studies have indicated that the choice of lineage of neural progenitor cells is determined, at least in part, by environmental factors, such as neurotrophic factors. Despite extensive studies using exogenous neurotrophic factors, the effect of endogenous neurotrophic factors on the differentiation of progenitor cells remains obscure. Here we show that embryonic spinal cord derived-progenitor cells express both ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA before differentiation. BDNF gene expression significantly decreases with their differentiation into the specific lineage, whereas CNTF gene expression significantly increases. The temporal pattern of neurotrophic factor gene expression in progenitor cells is similar to that of the spinal cord during postnatal development. Approximately 50% of spinal progenitor cells differentiated into astrocytes. To determine the effect of endogenous CNTF on their differentiation, we neutralized endogenous CNTF by administration of its polyclonal antibody. Neutralization of endogenous CNTF inhibited the differentiation of progenitor cells into astrocytes, but did not affect the numbers of neurons or oligodendrocytes. Furthermore, to mimic the profile of neurotrophic factors in the spinal cord during embryonic development, we applied BDNF or neurotrophin (NT)-3 exogenously in combination with the anti-CNTF antibody. The exogenous application of BDNF or NT-3 promoted the differentiation of these cells into neurons or oligodendrocytes, respectively. These findings suggest that endogenous CNTF and exogenous BDNF and NT-3 play roles in the differentiation of embryonic spinal cord derived progenitor cells into astrocytes, neurons and oligodendrocytes, respectively.
This cross-sectional study was conducted to obtain epidemiologic data on chronic musculoskeletal pain in the Japanese people, and with it a better understanding of the actual conditions and problems involved.
A questionnaire covering basic information, chronic musculoskeletal pain, daily life, quality of life, and social loss was prepared and mailed to 11507 individuals aged 18 years or older. Subjects were selected randomly nationwide in accordance with the demographic composition of Japan.
The prevalence of chronic musculoskeletal pain was 15.4%. The prevalence was highest in people in their 30s to 50s. Pain occurred most frequently in the low back, neck, shoulder, and knee. Among symptomatic subjects, 42% sought treatment, by visiting a medical institution (19%), taking folk remedies (20%), or both (3%). Treatment was generally prolonged, with 70% of those treated reporting treatment durations of more than a year. Although 69% reported that their symptoms had improved, 30% reported unchanged or aggravated symptoms and dissatisfaction with treatment. Among symptomatic subjects, a high percentage of both men and women had lost jobs, left school, been absent from work or school, or had changed jobs. Basic activities of daily living (ADL) were disturbed in men, and the instrumental ADL (IADL) score was low in women. SF-36 scale scores were significantly lower in every area for subjects with chronic pain.
Chronic musculoskeletal pain does not necessarily improve even with prolonged treatment. It adversely affects daily life and both physical and mental health. Because those suffering pain often increasingly need assistance in daily activities, people around them are also affected. The therapeutic system and treatment procedures for chronic musculoskeletal pain merit prompt review.
Because of the lack of long-term postoperative follow-up studies of idiopathic spinal cord herniation (ISCH), there is little information about the long-term effectiveness and complications of the dural defect enlargement in patients with ISCH. The purpose of this study is to determine the long-term effectiveness of this procedure.
Sixteen patients with ISCH were treated surgically by enlargement of the dural defect. The patient’s neurological status and surgical outcome were evaluated by the JOA scores for thoracic myelopathy and the recovery rate (mean follow-up period 9.6 years). Correlations between the surgical outcomes and patients’ age and duration of disease were assessed retrospectively. The patients were also divided into two groups based on the location of the dural defect: the ventro-lateral (VL) group and the ventral (V) group. The difference in the duration of disease, preoperative JOA score, and the recovery rate were compared between the two groups.
There was no recurrence of ISCH after surgery. The mean recovery rate was 42.6%. There was a significant correlation between the patient’s age and the recovery rate, and between the duration of disease and the recovery rate. The median recovery rate was significantly lower in the V group than in the VL group. There were no complications related to CSF leakage after surgery.
Long-term surgical outcomes of enlargement of the dural defect for ISCH were stable and favorable without recurrences or any complications. This procedure should be considered for patients with ISCH before their neurological deficit worsens, especially for the patients in whom the dural defect is located at the ventral part of the dural canal.
Cavernous hemangioma consists mainly of congenital vascular malformations present before birth and gradually increasing in size with skeletal growth. A small number of patients with cavernous hemangioma develop scoliosis, and surgical treatment for the scoliosis in such cases has not been reported to date. Here we report a 12-year-old male patient with severe progressive scoliosis due to a huge subcutaneous cavernous hemangioma, who underwent posterior correction and fusion surgery. Upon referral to our department, radiographs revealed a scoliosis of 85° at T6-L1 and a kyphosis of 58° at T4-T10. CT and MR images revealed a huge hemangioma extending from the subcutaneous region to the paraspinal muscles and the retroperitoneal space and invading the spinal canal. Posterior correction and fusion surgery using pedicle screws between T2 and L3 were performed. Massive hemorrhage from the hemangioma occurred during the surgery, with intraoperative blood loss reaching 2800 ml. The scoliosis was corrected to 59°, and the kyphosis to 45° after surgery. Seven hours after surgery, the patient suffered from hypovolemic shock and disseminated intravascular coagulation due to postoperative hemorrhage from the hemangioma. The patient developed sensory and conduction aphasia caused by cerebral hypoxia during the shock on the day of the surgery. At present, two years after the surgery, although the patient has completely recovered from the aphasia. This case illustrates that, in correction surgery for scoliosis due to huge subcutaneous cavernous hemangioma, intraoperative and postoperative intensive care for hemodynamics should be performed, since massive hemorrhage can occur during the postoperative period as well as the intraoperative period.
In basic research on spinal cord injury (SCI), behavioral evaluation of the SCI animal model is critical. However, it is difficult to accurately evaluate function in the mouse SCI model due to the small size of mice. Although the open-field scoring scale is an outstanding appraisal method, supplementary objective tests are required. Using a compact SCANET system, in which a mouse carries out free movement for 5 min, we developed a novel method to detect locomotor ability. A SCANET system samples the horizontal coordinates of a mouse every 0.1 s, and both the speed and acceleration of its motion are calculated at each moment. It was found that the maximum speed and acceleration of motion over 5 min varied by injury severity. Moreover, these values were significantly correlated with open-field scores. The maximum speed and acceleration of SCI model mice using a SCANET system are objective, easy to obtain, and reproducible for evaluating locomotive function.
While several mouse strains have recently been developed for tracing neural crest or oligodendrocyte lineages, each strain has inherent limitations. The connection between human SOX10 mutations and neural crest cell pathogenesis led us to focus on the Sox10 gene, which is critical for neural crest development. We generated Sox10-Venus BAC transgenic mice to monitor Sox10 expression in both normal development and in pathological processes.
Tissue fluorescence distinguished neural crest progeny cells and oligodendrocytes in the Sox10-Venus mouse embryo. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed that Venus expression was restricted to cells expressing endogenous Sox10. Time-lapse imaging of various tissues in Sox10-Venus mice demonstrated that Venus expression could be visualized at the single-cell level in vivo due to the intense, focused Venus fluorescence. In the adult Sox10-Venus mouse, several types of mature and immature oligodendrocytes along with Schwann cells were clearly labeled with Venus, both before and after spinal cord injury.
In the newly-developed Sox10-Venus transgenic mouse, Venus fluorescence faithfully mirrors endogenous Sox10 expression and allows for in vivo imaging of live cells at the single-cell level. This Sox10-Venus mouse will thus be a useful tool for studying neural crest cells or oligodendrocytes, both in development and in pathological processes.
Degradation of arylglycerol-β-aryl ether is the most important process in bacterial lignin catabolism. Sphingobium sp. strain SYK-6 degrades guaiacylglycerol-β-guaiacyl ether (GGE) to α-(2-methoxyphenoxy)-β-hydroxypropiovanillone (MPHPV), and then the ether linkage of MPHPV is cleaved to generate α-glutathionyl-β-hydroxypropiovanillone (GS-HPV) and guaiacol. We have characterized three enantioselective glutathione S-transferase genes, including two genes that are involved in the ether cleavage of two enantiomers of MPHPV and one gene that is involved in the elimination of glutathione from a GS-HPV enantiomer. However, the first step in the degradation of four different GGE stereoisomers has not been characterized. In this study, three alcohol dehydrogenase genes, ligL, ligN, and ligO, which conferred GGE transformation activity in Escherichia coli, were isolated from SYK-6 and characterized, in addition to the previously cloned ligD gene. The levels of amino acid sequence identity of the four GGE dehydrogenases, which belong to the short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase family, ranged from 32% to 39%. Each gene was expressed in E. coli, and the stereospecificities of the gene products with the four GGE stereoisomers were determined by using chiral high-performance liquid chromatography with recently synthesized authentic enantiopure GGE stereoisomers. LigD and LigO converted (αR,βS)-GGE and (αR,βR)-GGE into (βS)-MPHPV and (βR)-MPHPV, respectively, while LigL and LigN transformed (αS,βR)-GGE and (αS,βS)-GGE to (βR)-MPHPV and (βS)-MPHPV, respectively. Disruption of the genes indicated that ligD is essential for the degradation of (αR,βS)-GGE and (αR,βR)-GGE and that both ligL and ligN contribute to the degradation of the two other GGE stereoisomers.
Transplantation of neural stem/progenitor cells (NS/PCs) following the sub-acute phase of spinal cord injury (SCI) has been shown to promote functional recovery in rodent models. However, the types of cells most effective for treating SCI have not been clarified. Taking advantage of our recently established neurosphere-based culture system of ES cell-derived NS/PCs, in which primary neurospheres (PNS) and passaged secondary neurospheres (SNS) exhibit neurogenic and gliogenic potentials, respectively, here we examined the distinct effects of transplanting neurogenic and gliogenic NS/PCs on the functional recovery of a mouse model of SCI. ES cell-derived PNS and SNS transplanted 9 days after contusive injury at the Th10 level exhibited neurogenic and gliogenic differentiation tendencies, respectively, similar to those seen in vitro. Interestingly, transplantation of the gliogenic SNS, but not the neurogenic PNS, promoted axonal growth, remyelination, and angiogenesis, and resulted in significant locomotor functional recovery after SCI. These findings suggest that gliogenic NS/PCs are effective for promoting the recovery from SCI, and provide essential insight into the mechanisms through which cellular transplantation leads to functional improvement after SCI.