Construction of nerve guide conduits from cellulose/soy protein composite membranes combined with Schwann cells and pyrroloquinoline quinone for the repair of peripheral nerve defect.
Regeneration and functional reconstruction of peripheral nerve defects remained a significant clinical challenge. Nerve guide conduits, with seed cells or neurotrophic factors (NTFs), had been widely used to improve the repair and regeneration of injured peripheral nerve. Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) was an antioxidant that can stimulate nerve growth factors (NGFs) synthesis and accelerate the Schwann cells (SCs) proliferation and growth. In present study, three kinds of nerve guide conduits were constructed: one from cellulose/SPI hollow tube (CSC), another from CSC combined with SCs (CSSC), and the third one from CSSC combined with PQQ (CSSPC), respectively. And then they were applied to bridge and repair the sciatic nerve defect in rats, using autograft as control. Effects of different nerve guide conduits on the nerve regeneration were comparatively evaluated by general analysis, sciatic function index (SFI) and histological analysis (HE and TEM). Newly-formed regenerative nerve fibers were observed and running through the transparent nerve guide conduits 12 weeks after surgery. SFI results indicated that the reconstruction of motor function in CSSPC group was better than that in CSSC and CSC groups. HE images from the cross-sections and longitudinal-sections of the harvested regenerative nerve indicated that regenerative nerve fibers had been formed and accompanied with new blood vessels and matrix materials in the conduits. TEM images also showed that lots of fresh myelinated and non-myelinated nerve fibers had been formed. Parts of vacuolar, swollen and abnormal axons occurred in CSC and CSSC groups, while the vacuolization and swell of axons was the least serious in CSSPC group. These results indicated that CSSPC group had the most ability to repair and reconstruct the nerve structure and functions due to the comprehensive contributions from hollow CSC tube, SCs and PQQ. As a result, the CSSPC may have the potential for the applications as nerve guide conduits in the field of nerve tissue engineering.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015 Feb 20;457(4):507-13. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.12.121. Epub 2015 Jan 9.