The aim of this study was to determine the possible regenerative effect of neuroectodermal stem cells on the ultrastructural, and locomotor function resulting from compressed injury to the spinal cord in a rat model. Forty male rats were divided into control and sham groups (20 rats each). Compressed spinal cord injured (CSCI) were forty rats which subdivided equally into: untreated, treated by neuroectodermal stem cells (NESCs). After four weeks, all rats in different groups were scarified, samples were taken from central, cranial, and caudal to the site of spinal cord injury. Specimens were prepared for light and electron microscopic examination. The number of remyelinated axons in central, cranial and caudal regions to the injured spinal cord after transplantation of NESCs was counted. The open field test assessed the locomotor function. Results revealed that compressed spinal cord injury resulted in loss and degeneration of numerous nerve fibers, myelin splitting and degeneration of mitochondria. Four weeks after transplantation of NESCs regenerated axons were noticed in cranial and central sites, while degenerate axons were noticed caudal to the lesion. Number of remyelinated axons was significantly increased in both central and cranial to the site of spinal cord injury in comparison with caudal region which had the least number of remyelinated axons. Transplantation of NESCs improved significantly the locomotor functional activity In conclusion, neuroectodermal stem cells transplantation ameliorated the histopathological and ultrastructural changes, and improved the functional locomotor activity in CSCI rat.
KEY WORDS: Neuroectodermal; Stem cells; Spinal cord; Injury; Regeneration; Rat.