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Neural Regen Res. 2015 Apr;10(4):651-8. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.155442.

Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells promote peripheral nerve repair via paracrine mechanisms.

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Institute of Orthopedics, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.
Institute of Orthopedics, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China ; The Neural Regeneration Co-innovation Center of Jiangsu Province, Nantong, Jiangsu Province, China.


Human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs) represent a promising young-state stem cell source for cell-based therapy. hUCMSC transplantation into the transected sciatic nerve promotes axonal regeneration and functional recovery. To further clarify the paracrine effects of hUCMSCs on nerve regeneration, we performed human cytokine antibody array analysis, which revealed that hUCMSCs express 14 important neurotrophic factors. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunohistochemistry showed that brain-derived neurotrophic factor, glial-derived neurotrophic factor, hepatocyte growth factor, neurotrophin-3, basic fibroblast growth factor, type I collagen, fibronectin and laminin were highly expressed. Treatment with hUCMSC-conditioned medium enhanced Schwann cell viability and proliferation, increased nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in Schwann cells, and enhanced neurite growth from dorsal root ganglion explants. These findings suggest that paracrine action may be a key mechanism underlying the effects of hUCMSCs in peripheral nerve repair.


Schwann cells; axons; conditioned medium; dorsal root ganglion; human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells; nerve regeneration; neural regeneration; neurotrophic factors; peripheral nerve regeneration

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