Yonsei Medical Journal, Vol.56(4) : 1036~1043, 2015
PURPOSE: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is associated with permanent neurological damage, and treatment thereof with a single modality often does not provide sufficient therapeutic outcomes. Therefore, a strategy that combines two or more techniques might show better therapeutic effects.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this study, we designed a combined treatment strategy based on neural stem cells (NSCs) introduced via a neuronal cell type-inducible transgene expression system (NSE::) controlled by a neuron-specific enolase (NSE) promoter to maximize therapeutic efficiency and neuronal differentiation. The luciferase gene was chosen to confirm whether this combined system was working properly prior to using a therapeutic gene. The luciferase expression levels of NSCs introduced via the neuronal cell type-inducible luciferase expression system (NSE::Luci) or via a general luciferase expressing system (SV::Luci) were measured and compared in vitro and in vivo.
RESULTS: NSCs introduced via the neuronal cell type-inducible luciferase expressing system (NSE::Luci-NSCs) showed a high level of luciferase expression, compared to NSCs introduced via a general luciferase expressing system (SV::Luci-NSCs). Interestingly, the luciferase expression level of NSE::Luci-NSCs increased greatly after differentiation into neurons.
CONCLUSION: We demonstrated that a neuronal cell type-inducible gene expression system is suitable for introducing NSCs in combined treatment strategies. We suggest that the proposed strategy may be a promising tool for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, including SCI.