Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are recognized by their plastic adherent ability, fibroblastic-like appearance, expression of specific surface protein markers, and are defined by their ability to undergo multi-lineage differentiation. Although rabbit bone marrow-derived MSCs (rbMSCs) have been used extensively in previous studies especially in translational research, these cells have neither been defined morphologically and ultrastructurally, nor been compared with their counterparts in humans in their multi-lineage differentiation ability. A study was therefore conducted to define the morphology, surface marker proteins, ultrastructure and multi-lineage differentiation ability of rbMSCs. Herein, the primary rbMSC cultures of three adult New Zealand white rabbits (at least 4 months old) were used for three independent experiments. rbMSCs were isolated using the gradient-centrifugation method, an established technique for human MSCs (hMSCs) isolation. Cells were characterized by phase contrast microscopy observation, transmission electron microscopy analysis, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, immunocytochemistry staining, flow cytometry, alamarBlue(®) assay, histological staining and quantitative (q)PCR analysis. The isolated plastic adherent cells were in fibroblastic spindle-shape and possessed eccentric, irregular-shaped nuclei as well as rich inner cytoplasmic zones similar to that of hMSCs. The rbMSCs expressed CD29, CD44, CD73, CD81, CD90 and CD166, but were negative (or dim positive) for CD34, CD45, CD117 and HLD-DR. Despite having similar morphology and phenotypic expression, rbMSCs possessed significantly larger cell size but had a lower proliferation rate as compared with hMSCs. Using established protocols to differentiate hMSCs, rbMSCs underwent osteogenic, adipogenic and chondrogenic differentiation. Interestingly, differentiated rbMSCs demonstrated higher levels of osteogenic (Runx2) and chondrogenic (Sox9) gene expressions than that of hMSCs (P 0.05). rbMSCs possess similar morphological characteristics to hMSCs, but have a higher potential for osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiation, despite having a lower cell proliferation rate than hMSCs. The characteristics reported here may be used as a comprehensive set of criteria to define or characterize rbMSCs.
The spinal nucleus of the accessory nerve (SNA) comprises the group of somata (perikarya) of motor neurons that supply the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles. There are many conflicting views regarding the longitudinal extent and topography of the SNA, even in the same species, and these disagreements prompted the present investigation. Thirty Sprague-Dawley rats (15 males, 15 females) were used. The SNA was localized by retrograde axonal transport of horseradish peroxidase. Longitudinally, the SNA was found to be located in the caudal part (caudal 0.9-1.2 mm) of the medulla oblongata, the whole lengths of cervical spinal cord segments C1, C2, C3, C4, C5 and rostral fourth of C6. In the caudal part of the medulla oblongata, the SNA was represented by a group of perikarya of motor neurons lying immediately ventrolateral to the pyramidal fibres that were passing dorsolaterally after their decussation. In the spinal cord, the motor neuronal somata of the SNA were located in the dorsomedial and central columns at C1, in the dorsomedial, central and ventrolateral columns at C2 and in the ventrolateral column only at C3, C4, C5 and rostral quarter of C6. The perikarya of motor neurons supplying the sternocleidomastoid were located in the caudal part (caudal 0.9-1.2 mm) of the medulla oblongata ventrolateral to the pyramidal fibres that were passing dorsolaterally after their decussation. They were also located in the dorsomedial and central columns at C1, in the dorsomedial, central and ventrolateral columns at C2 and only in the ventrolateral column at the rostral three-quarters of C3. The perikarya of motor neurons supplying the trapezius muscle were located in the ventrolateral column only in the caudal three-quarters of C2, the whole lengths of C3, C4 and C5, and in the rostral quarter of C6.
In the left upper limb of an adult male cadaver a triangular muscular slip, 3.5 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, arose from the lower border of latissimus dorsi just proximal to its tendon of insertion. It was inserted by a slender 6 cm long tendon mainly into the coracoid process of the scapula. Three short fibrous strands radiated from this slender tendon to gain attachments to pectoralis minor and the common tendon of origin of the short head of biceps brachii and coracobrachialis. In addition 2 flat tendinous bands attached the margin of this muscular slip to teres major. The thoracodorsal nerve entered the main bulk of latissimus dorsi close to the muscular slip but did not supply a separate branch to the latter. This is an axillary arch muscle in an unusually medial location.
The motoneurons, dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and sympathetic ganglion (SG) cells forming the common peroneal (CPN) and tibial (TN) nerves of young and semiadult monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) were localised by the horseradish peroxidase method of tracing neuronal connections. The motoneurons forming the CPN occur in the L4-L6 segments, appearing as 1-3 groups and occupying the retroposterolateral (rpl), posterolateral (pl) and central (c) groups of motor nuclei. The motoneurons forming the TN occur in the L4-L7 segments, appearing as 1-4 groups and occupying the rpl, pl, c and anterolateral (al) groups. The motoneurons and DRG cells forming the CPN show peak frequencies at the L5 level, and the SG cells forming the same nerve, at the L6 level in most cases. The motoneurons and DRG cells forming the TN show peak frequencies at the L6 level and the SG cells forming the same nerve, also at the L6 level in most cases. The bulk of motoneurons, DRG and SG cells forming the CPN and TN are concentrated in two segmental levels. For CPN the motoneurons measure between 14-76 micron in their average somal diameters and for TN, 16-70 micron. The majority of them (65.5% for CPN motoneurons and 72% for TN motoneurons) have average somal diameters greater than 38 micron. The size spectrum of the DRG cells forming the CPN is similar to that of DRG cells forming the TN, being 12-78 micron for CPN and 10-76 micron for TN. The sympathetic neurons forming the CPN (measuring 10-44 micron) have a larger size spectrum than those forming the TN (measuring 6-33 micron). The diameter spectrum (3-20 micron for TN and 2-19 micron for CPN) and peak frequency distributions (10 micron for both TN and CPN) of the myelinated fibres present in the CPN and TN are also similar, with the CPN fibres skewing towards a slightly larger size. Many of the fibres in the young and semi-adult monkeys are not yet myelinated.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating disorder that has a poor prognosis of recovery. Animal models of SCI are useful to understand the pathophysiology of SCI and the potential use of therapeutic strategies for human SCI. Ex vivo models of central nervous system (CNS) trauma, particularly mechanical trauma, have become important tools to complement in vivo models of injury in order to reproduce the sequelae of human CNS injury. Ex vivo organotypic slice cultures (OSCs) provide a reliable model platform for the study of cell dynamics and therapeutic intervention following SCI. In addition, these ex vivo models support the 3R concept of animal use in SCI research - replacement, reduction and refinement. Ex vivo models cannot be used to monitor functional recovery, nor do they have the intact blood supply of the in vivo model systems. However, the ex vivo models appear to reproduce many of the post traumatic events including acute and secondary injury mechanisms. Several well-established OSC models have been developed over the past few years for experimental spinal injuries ex vivo in order to understand the biological response to injury. In this study, we investigated cell viability in three ex vivo OSC models of SCI: stab injury, transection injury and contusion injury. Injury was inflicted in postnatal day 4 rat spinal cord slices. Stab injury was performed using a needle on transverse slices of spinal cord. Transection injury was performed on longitudinal slices of spinal cord using a double blade technique. Contusion injury was performed on longitudinal slices of spinal cord using an Infinite Horizon impactor device. At days 3 and 10 post-injury, viability was measured using dual staining for propidium iodide and fluorescein diacetate. In all ex vivo SCI models, the slices showed more live cells than dead cells over 10 days in culture, with higher cell viability in control slices compared with injured slices. Although no change in cell viability was observed between time-points in stab- and contusion-injured OSCs, a reduction in cell viability was observed over time in transection-injured OSCs. Taken together, ex vivo SCI models are a useful and reliable research tool that reduces the cost and time involved in carrying out animal studies. The use of OSC models provides a simple way to study the cellular consequences following SCI, and they can also be used to investigate potential therapeutics regimes for the treatment of SCI.
The aim of this study is to correlate small dot hyper-reflective foci (HRF) observed in spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) scans of an animal model of hyperglycaemia with focal electroretinography (fERG) response and immunolabelling of retinal markers. The eyes of an animal model of hyperglycaemia showing signs of diabetic retinopathy (DR) were imaged using SD-OCT. Areas showing dot HRF were further evaluated using fERG. Retinal areas enclosing the HRF were dissected and serially sectioned, stained and labelled for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and a microglial marker (Iba-1). Small dot HRF were frequently seen in OCT scans in all retinal quadrants in the inner nuclear layer or outer nuclear layer in the DR rat model. Retinal function in the HRF and adjacent areas was reduced compared with normal control rats. Microglial activation was detected by Iba-1 labelling and retinal stress identified by GFAP expression in Müller cells observed in discrete areas around small dot HRF. Small dot HRF seen in OCT images of the retina are associated with a local microglial response. This study provides the first evidence of dot HRF correlating with microglial activation, which may allow clinicians to better evaluate the microglia-mediated inflammatory component of progressive diseases showing HRF.