Analysis of the neuroregenerative potential of human placental mesenchymal stem cells in a mammalian Central Nervous System model of axotomy

E H de Laorden(1) M Mellén(1) M Portela-Lomba(1) D Simón(1) M T Moreno-Flores(2) J Sierra(1) M Iglesias(1)

1:Francisco de Vitoria University; 2:Autonomous University of Madrid

In the novel field of advanced therapies, stem cell therapeutics acquires great relevance in the last decades. The Central Nervous System (CNS) is a complex tissue composed of a vast number of diverse cells. Given their number and diversity, CNS pathologies and their therapies comprise challenging and promising fields of research. The retina is a specialized CNS extension encapsulated in the eyeball and easily accessible to experimental manipulation. Our group has studied the neuroregenerative potential of human placental stem cells (hPMSCs) in rat retina after traumatic neuronal injury. We have developed a co-culture in which dissociated neurons extracted from adult rats were cultured on a monolayer of hPMSCs. The experiments carried out under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions reveal that hPMSCs stimulate axonal regeneration of axotomized neurons compared to cultures in the absence of hPMSCs. In both conditions, we have measured the percentage of neurons that have regenerated their axons, the total length of these axon, and the average axon length per neuron demonstrating the ability of hPMSCs to increase axonal regeneration. Moreover, we have confirmed the synthesis of neurotrophic factors precursors in our hPMSCs co-culture system. We are currently focused in determining the influence of these neurotrophic factors and establishing the correlation with the axonal regeneration observed, as well as confirming neuronal function after axon regeneration.