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Acta Biomater. 2018 Jan 15;66:335-349. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2017.11.042. Epub 2017 Nov 28.

Transplantation of human amnion prevents recurring adhesions and ameliorates fibrosis in a rat model of sciatic nerve scarring.

Author information

1
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology/AUVA Research Center, Donaueschingenstraße 13, 1200 Vienna, Austria; Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration, Austria. Electronic address: angela.lemke@trauma.lbg.ac.at.
2
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology/AUVA Research Center, Donaueschingenstraße 13, 1200 Vienna, Austria; Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration, Austria.
3
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology/AUVA Research Center, Donaueschingenstraße 13, 1200 Vienna, Austria.
4
Department of Neuroimmunology, Center for Brain Research, Medical University Vienna, Spitalgasse 4, 1090 Vienna, Austria.
5
Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Vienna, Währinger Straße 38, 1090 Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

Peripheral nerve fibrosis and painful adhesions are common, recurring pathological sequelae following injury. In this study, vital human amnion (hAM), an increasingly interesting biomaterial for regenerative medicine, was investigated as a novel therapy. hAM was first analyzed in vitro regarding its anti-adhesive characteristics. Then, the reflected region of hAM which was identified as more suitable, was transplanted into female Sprague Dawley rats with recurring sciatic nerve scarring (n = 24) and compared with untreated controls (n = 30) at one, four and twelve weeks. Immune response and fibrosis were investigated by (immuno)histochemical analysis. Nerve structure was examined and function determined using electrophysiology and gait analysis. Here we identified strongly reduced adhesions in the hAM-treated rats, displaying a significant difference at four weeks post transplantation compared to untreated controls (p = .0052). This correlated with the in vitro cell attachment test on hAM explants, which demonstrated a distinctly limited ability of fibroblasts to adhere to amniotic epithelial cells. Upon hAM transplantation, significantly less intraneural fibrosis was identified at the later time points. Moreover, hAM-treated rats exhibited a significantly higher sciatic functional index (SFI) after four weeks compared to controls (p < .05), which indicated a potentially pro-regenerative effect of hAM. As a possible explanation, an impact of hAM on the endogenous immune response, including T cell and macrophage subsets, was indicated. We conclude that hAM is strongly effective against recurring nerve scarring and induces an anti-fibrotic and pro-regenerative effect, making it highly promising for treating adhesion-related disorders.

STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE:

Abnormal fibrotic bonding of tissues, frequently involving peripheral nerves, affects millions of people worldwide. These so-called adhesions usually cause severe pain and drastically reduce quality of life. To date, no adequate treatment exists and none is routinely used in the clinical practice. In this study, vital human amnion, the innermost of the fetal membranes, was transplanted in a rat model of peripheral nerve scarring and recurring adhesions as novel therapeutic approach. Amniotic cells have already demonstrated to feature stem-cell like properties and produce pro-regenerative factors, which makes the amnion an increasingly promising biomaterial for regenerative medicine. We identified that its transplantation was very effective against peripheral nerve scarring and distinctly reduced recurring adhesions. Moreover, we identified a pro-regenerative effect. This study showed that the amnion is a highly promising novel therapeutic approach for adhesion-related disorders.

KEYWORDS:

Fibrosis; Human amniotic membrane; Nerve scarring; Peripheral nerve adhesions; Regeneration

PMID:
29191510
DOI:
10.1016/j.actbio.2017.11.042
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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