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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2010 Feb;67(4):655-69. doi: 10.1007/s00018-009-0202-4. Epub 2009 Nov 24.

Intra-brain microinjection of human mesenchymal stem cells decreases allodynia in neuropathic mice.

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Division of Pharmacology L. Donatelli, Department of Experimental Medicine, Second University of Naples, 80138 Naples, Italy.


Neuropathic pain is a very complex disease, involving several molecular pathways. Current available drugs are usually not acting on the several mechanisms underlying the generation and propagation of pain. We used spared nerve injury model of neuropathic pain to assess the possible use of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) as anti-neuropathic tool. Human MSCs were transplanted in the mouse lateral cerebral ventricle. Stem cells injection was performed 4 days after sciatic nerve surgery. Neuropathic mice were monitored 7, 10, 14, 17, and 21 days after surgery. hMSCs were able to reduce pain-like behaviors, such as mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia, once transplanted in cerebral ventricle. Anti-nociceptive effect was detectable from day 10 after surgery (6 days post cell injection). Human MSCs reduced the mRNA levels of the pro-inflammatory interleukin IL-1beta mouse gene, as well as the neural beta-galactosidase over-activation in prefrontal cortex of SNI mice. Transplanted hMSCs were able to reduce astrocytic and microglial cell activation.

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