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J Exerc Rehabil. 2017 Jun 30;13(3):273-278. doi: 10.12965/jer.1735014.507. eCollection 2017 Jun.

Treadmill exercise with bone marrow stromal cells transplantation potentiates recovery of locomotor function after spinal cord injury in rats.

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Sports Science Research Institution, Korea National Sport University, Seoul, Korea.
Division of Sports Science and Engineering, Korea Institute of Sports Science, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.


Transplantation of bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) is regarded as a promising candidate for the spinal cord injury (SCI). In the present study, we investigated whether treadmill exercise potentiate the effect of BM-SCs transplantation on the functional recovery in the SCI rats. The spinal cord contusion injury applied at the T9-T10 level using the impactor. Cultured BMSCs were transplanted into the lesion at 1 week after SCI induction. Treadmill exercise was conducted for 6 weeks. Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan (BBB) scale for locomotor function was determined. Sprouting axons in the lesion cavity were detected by immunofluorescence staining for neurofilament-200. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and synapsin-I expressions were analyzed using western blotting. BMSCs transplantation improved BBB score and increased expressions of neurofilament-200, BDNF, and synapsin-I in the SCI rats. Treadmill exercise potentiated the improving effect of BMSCs transplantation on BBB score in the SCI rats. This potentiating effect of treadmill exercise could be ascribed to the enhancement of BDNF expression in the SCI rats.


Bone marrow stromal cells; Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; Locomotor function; Spinal cord injury; Synapsin-I; Treadmill exercise

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

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