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1.  Effect of Dietary Calcium on Spinal Bone Fusion in an Ovariectomized Rat Model 
To evaluate the effect of calcium supplementation on spinal bone fusion in ovariectomized (OVX) rats.
Sixteen female Sprague Dawley rats underwent bilateral ovariectomy at 12 weeks of age to induce osteoporosis and were randomly assigned to two groups : control group (n=8) and calcium-supplemented group (OVX-Ca, n=8). Autologous spinal bone fusion surgery was performed on both groups 8 weeks later. After fusion surgery, the OVX-Ca group was supplemented with calcium in drinking water for 8 weeks. Blood was obtained 4 and 8 weeks after fusion surgery. Eight weeks after fusion surgery, the rats were euthanized and the L4-5 spine removed. Bone fusion status and fusion volume were evaluated by manual palpation and three-dimensional computed tomography.
The mean fusion volume in the L4-5 spine was significantly greater in the OVX-Ca group (71.80±8.06 mm3) than in controls (35.34±8.24 mm3) (p<0.01). The level of osteocalcin, a bone formation marker, was higher in OVX-Ca rats than in controls 4 weeks (610.08±10.41 vs. 551.61±12.34 ng/mL) and 8 weeks (552.05±19.67 vs. 502.98±22.76 ng/mL) after fusion surgery (p<0.05). The level of C-terminal telopeptide fragment of type I collagen, a bone resorption marker, was significantly lower in OVX-Ca rats than in controls 4 weeks (77.07±12.57 vs. 101.75±7.20 ng/mL) and 8 weeks (69.58±2.45 vs. 77.15±4.10 ng/mL) after fusion surgery (p<0.05). A mechanical strength test showed that the L4-5 vertebrae in the OVX-Ca group withstood a 50% higher maximal load compared with the controls (p<0.01).
Dietary calcium given to OVX rats after lumbar fusion surgery improved fusion volume and mechanical strength in an ovariectomized rat model.
PMCID: PMC3488633  PMID: 23133713
Osteoporosis; Ovariectomized rat; Calcium; Spinal bone fusion
2.  Histomorphometric Analysis of the Spine and Femur in Ovariectomized Rats Using Micro-Computed Tomographic Scan 
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the different patterns of bone loss between the lumbar spine and the femur after ovariectomy in rats.
Twenty-four female Sprague-Dawley rats underwent a sham operation (the sham group) or bilateral ovariectomy (the ovariectomized group). Four and eight weeks after operation, six rats from each of the two groups were euthanized. Serum biochemical markers of bone turnover including osteocalcin and alkaline phosphatase (ALP), which are sensitive biochemical markers of bone formation, and the telopeptide fragment of type I collagen C-terminus (CTX), which is a sensitive biochemical marker of bone resorption, were analyzed. Bone histomorphometric parameters of the 4th lumbar vertebrae and femur were determined by micro-computed tomography.
Ovariectomized rats were found to have higher osteocalcin, ALP and CTX levels than sham controls. Additionally, 8 weeks after ovariectomy in the OVX group, serum levels of osteocalcin, ALP and CTX were significantly higher than those of 4 weeks after ovariectomy. Bone loss after ovariectomy was more extensive in the 4th lumbar spine compared to the femur. Bone loss in the 4th lumbar spine was mainly caused by trabecular thinning, but in the femur, it was mainly caused by trabecular elimination.
The present study demonstrates different patterns of bone loss between the 4th lumbar spine and the femur in ovariectomized rats. Therefore, when considering animal models of osteoporosis, it is important that bone sites should be taken into account.
PMCID: PMC3440496  PMID: 22993670
Bone loss; Micro-CT; Osteoporosis; Ovariectomy; Rat
3.  Types of Parvalbumin-Containing Retinotectal Ganglion Cells in Mouse 
Acta Histochemica et Cytochemica  2012;45(3):201-210.
The calcium-binding protein parvalbumin (PV) occurs in the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) of various vertebrate species. In the present study, we aimed to identify the types of PV-containing RGCs that project to the superior colliculus (SC) in the mouse. We injected retrograde tracer dextran into the mouse SC to label RGCs. PV-containing RGCs were first identified by immunocytochemistry and then neurons double-labeled with dextran and PV were iontophoretically injected with a lipophilic dye, DiI. Subsequently, confocal microscopy was used to characterize the morphologic classification of the PV-immunoreactive (IR) retinotectal ganglion cells on the basis of dendritic field size, branching pattern, and stratification within the inner plexiform layer. Among the 8 different types of PV-containing RGCs in the mouse retina, we found all 8 types of RGCs projecting to the SC. The RGCs were heterogeneous in morphology. The combined approach of using tracer injection and a single cell injection after immunocytochemistry on a particular protein will provide valuable data to further understand the functional features of the RGCs which constitute the retinotectal pathway.
PMCID: PMC3394870  PMID: 22829714
parvalbumin; retinal ganglion cell; superior colliculus; cell type; cell injection
4.  The Change of Bone Metabolism in Ovariectomized Rats : Analyses of MicroCT Scan and Biochemical Markers of Bone Turnover 
The purpose of this study was to verify the appropriateness of ovariectomized rats as the osteoporosis animal model.
Twelve female Sprague-Dawley rats underwent a sham operation (the sham group) or bilateral ovariectomy [the ovariectomy (OVX) group]. Eight weeks after operations, serum biochemical markers of bone turnover were analyzed; osteocalcin and alkaline phosphatase, which are sensitive biochemical markers of bone formation, and C-terminal telopeptide fragment of type I collagen C-terminus (CTX), which is a sensitive biochemical marker of bone resorption. Bone histomorphometric parameters and microarchitectural properties of 4th lumbar vertebrae were determined by micro-computed tomographic (CT) scan.
The OVX group showed on average 75.4% higher osteocalcin and 72.5% higher CTX levels than the sham group, indicating increased bone turnover. Micro-CT analysis showed significantly lower bone mineral density (BMD) (p=0.005) and cortical BMD (p=0.021) in the OVX group. Furthermore, the OVX group was found to have a significantly lower trabecular bone volume fraction (p=0.002).
Our results showed that bone turnover was significantly increased and bone mass was significantly decreased 8 weeks after ovariectomy in rats. Thus, we propose that the ovariectomized rat model be considered a reproducible and reliable model of osteoporosis.
PMCID: PMC3424170  PMID: 22949959
Bone loss; Bone turnover; Osteoporosis; Ovariectomy; Rat
5.  The Neuroprotective Effect of Treatment of Valproic Acid in Acute Spinal Cord Injury 
Valproic acid (VPA), as known as histone deacetylase inhibitor, has neuroprotective effects. This study investigated the histological changes and functional recovery from spinal cord injury (SCI) associated with VPA treatment in a rat model.
Locomotor function was assessed according to the Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan scale for 2 weeks in rats after receiving twice daily intraperitoneal injections of 200 mg/kg VPA or the equivalent volume of normal saline for 7 days following SCI. The injured spinal cord was then examined histologically, including quantification of cavitation.
Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan scale scores in rats receiving VPA were significantly higher than in the saline group (p<0.05). The cavity volume in the VPA group was significantly reduced compared with the control (saline-injected) group (p<0.05). The level of histone acetylation recovered in the VPA group, while it was significantly decreased in the control rats (p<0.05). The macrophage level was significantly decreased in the VPA group (p<0.05).
VPA influences the restoration of hyperacetylation and reduction of the inflammatory reaction resulting from SCI, and is effective for histology and motor function recovery.
PMCID: PMC3377874  PMID: 22737297
Valproic acid; Spinal cord injury; Clip compression model; Acetylation; HDAC inhibitor
6.  Transplantation of Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells into the Developing Mouse Eye 
Acta Histochemica et Cytochemica  2011;44(5):213-221.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been studied widely for their potential to differentiate into various lineage cells including neural cells in vitro and in vivo. To investigate the influence of the developing host environment on the integration and morphological and molecular differentiation of MSCs, human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) were transplanted into the developing mouse retina. Enhanced green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing BM-MSCs were transplanted by intraocular injections into mice, ranging in ages from 1 day postnatal (PN) to 10 days PN. The survival dates ranged from 7 days post-transplantation (DPT) to 28DPT, at which time an immunohistochemical analysis was performed on the eyes. The transplanted BM-MSCs survived and showed morphological differentiation into neural cells and some processes within the host retina. Some transplanted cells expressed microtubule associated protein 2 (MAP2ab, marker for mature neural cells) or glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP, marker for glial cells) at 5PN 7DPT. In addition, some transplanted cells integrated into the developing retina. The morphological and molecular differentiation and integration within the 5PN 7DPT eye was greater than those of other-aged host eye. The present findings suggest that the age of the host environment can strongly influence the differentiation and integration of BM-MSCs.
PMCID: PMC3210426  PMID: 22096261
bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells; retina; transplantation; differentiation; integration
7.  Transplantation of Adipose Derived Stromal Cells into the Developing Mouse Eye 
Acta Histochemica et Cytochemica  2010;43(6):123-130.
Adipose derived stromal cells (ADSCs) were transplanted into a developing mouse eye to investigate the influence of a developing host micro environment on integration and differentiation. Green fluorescent protein-expressing ADSCs were transplanted by intraocular injections. The age of the mouse was in the range of 1 to 10 days postnatal (PN). Survival dates ranged from 7 to 28 post transplantation (DPT), at which time immunohistochemistry was performed. The transplanted ADSCs displayed some morphological differentiations in the host eye. Some cells expressed microtubule associated protein 2 (marker for mature neuron), or glial fibrillary acid protein (marker for glial cell). In addition, some cells integrated into the ganglion cell layer. The integration and differentiation of the transplanted ADSCs in the 5 and 10 PN 7 DPT were better than in the host eye the other age ranges. This study was aimed at demonstrating how the age of host micro environment would influence the differentiation and integration of the transplanted ADSCs. However, it was found that the integration and differentiation into the developing retina were very limited when compared with other stem cells, such as murine brain progenitor cell.
PMCID: PMC3015049  PMID: 21245978
retina; adipose derived stromal cell; transplantation; integration; differentiation

Results 1-7 (7)