A collagen-based scaffold for promoting neural plasticity in a rat model of spinal cord injury

Jue Zong Yeh, Ding-Han Wang, Juin Hong Cherng, Yi Wen Wang, Gang Yi Fan, Nien Hsien Liou, Jiang Chuan Liu, Chung Hsing Chou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

In spinal cord injury (SCI) therapy, glial scarring formed by activated astrocytes is a primary problem that needs to be solved to enhance axonal regeneration. In this study, we developed and used a collagen scaffold for glial scar replacement to create an appropriate environment in an SCI rat model and determined whether neural plasticity can be manipulated using this approach. We used four experimental groups, as follows: SCI-collagen scaffold, SCI control, normal spinal cord-collagen scaffold, and normal control. The collagen scaffold showed excellent in vitro and in vivo biocompatibility. Immunofluorescence staining revealed increased expression of neurofilament and fibronectin and reduced expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein and anti-chondroitin sulfate in the collagen scaffold-treated SCI rats at 1 and 4 weeks post-implantation compared with that in untreated SCI control. This indicates that the collagen scaffold implantation promoted neuronal survival and axonal growth within the injured site and prevented glial scar formation by controlling astrocyte production for their normal functioning. Our study highlights the feasibility of using the collagen scaffold in SCI repair. The collagen scaffold was found to exert beneficial effects on neuronal activity and may help in manipulating synaptic plasticity, implying its great potential for clinical application in SCI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2245
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalPolymers
Volume12
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Axonal regeneration
  • Collagen scaffold
  • Neural plasticity
  • Spinal cord injury

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