Affiliation: Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Nazloo Road, Urmia, Iran.
Influence of undifferentiated bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) combined with vein graft on transected sciatic nerve repair was studied in diabetic rats. A nerve segment, 10 mm, was excised and a vein graft (VG) was used to bridge the gap. 10 microliter undifferentiated BMSCs (2 x107 cells /mL) were administered into the graft in treatment group (VG/BMSC). Phosphate buffered saline was only administered into the graft in control group. The regenerated nerve fibers were studied in three time points of 4, 8 and 12 weeks after surgery. Evaluation of the repair process was based on behavioral, functional (Walking Track Analysis), electrophysiological, histomorphometrical and immunohistochemical criteria. The behavioral, functional and electrophysiological studies indicated that there was significant recovery in regeneration of axons in VG/BMSC group (P<0.05). Morphometric evaluations showed that the number and diameter of myelinated fibers in VG /BMSC group were significantly higher than those in the control group (P<0.05). This indicates the potential of using undifferentiated BMSCs combined with vein graft in peripheral nerve repair in diabetic rats with no restrictions of donor-site morbidity associated with isolation of Schwann cells. This technique is also cost saving because of decrease in interval from tissue harvest until administration of the cells and simplicity of laboratory techniques in comparison with undifferentiated BMSCs. It may have clinical implications for the surgical management of diabetic patients after nerve transection.