Synergistic effects of ultrashort wave and bone marrow stromal cells on nerve regeneration with acellular nerve allografts


Correspondence to: Xiao-Jie Tong, Department of Anatomy, College of Basic Medical Sciences, China Medical University, Shenyang, China. E-mail:


Acellular nerve allografts (ANA) possess bioactivity and neurite promoting factors in nerve tissue engineering. Previously we reported that low dose ultrashort wave (USW) radiation could enhance the rate and quality of peripheral nerve regeneration with ANA repairing sciatic nerve defects. Meanwhile, ANA implanted with bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) exhibited a similar result. Thus, it is interesting to know whether it might yield a synergistic effect when USW radiation is combined with BMSCs-laden ANA. Here we investigated the effectiveness of ANA seeded with BMSCs, combined with USW therapy on repairing peripheral nerve injuries. Adult male Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups: Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium (DMEM) control group, BMSCs-laden group, ultrashort wave (USW) group and BMSC + USW group. The regenerated nerves were assayed morphologically and functionally, and growth-promoting factors in the regenerated tissues following USW administration or BMSCs integration were also detected. The results indicated that the combination therapy caused much better beneficial effects evidenced by increased myelinated nerve fiber number, myelin sheath thickness, axon diameter, sciatic function index, nerve conduction velocity, and restoration rate of tibialis anterior wet weight. Moreover, the mRNA levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the spinal cord and muscles were elevated significantly. In conclusion, we found a synergistic effect of USW radiation and BMSCs treatment on peripheral nerve regeneration, which may help establish novel strategies for repairing peripheral nerve defects. Synapse 67:637–647, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.