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  • Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein Angiopoeitin-1 Provides Benefits During Nerve Regeneration In Vivo and In Vitro.

Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein Angiopoeitin-1 Provides Benefits During Nerve Regeneration In Vivo and In Vitro.

Annals of biomedical engineering (2015-05-28)
Longhai Qiu, Bo He, Jun Hu, Zhaowei Zhu, Xiaolin Liu, Jiakai Zhu
ABSTRACT

Our group pioneered the study of nerve regeneration in China and has successfully developed human "acellular nerve grafts (ACNGs)". However, our clinical studies revealed that the effects of ACNGs for long and large nerve defects are far from satisfactory. To improve the efficacy of ACNGs, we combined Cartilage oligomeric matrix protein angiopoietin-1 (COMP-Ang1) with ACNGs in rat sciatic nerve injury models and observed the outcomes via angiographic, morphological, and functional analyses. Co-cultures of endothelial cells (ECs) and dorsal root ganglion neurons (DRGs) were also used to characterize the relationship between neovascularization and nerve regeneration. The results showed significant improvements in early neovascularization, nerve regeneration, and functional outcomes in vivo in the ACNG + COMP-Ang1 group. In vitro, neurite length, and density as well as the expression levels of neurofilament 68 (NF68) and phosphorylated-Tie-2 (p-Tie-2) significantly increased when ECs were co-cultured with DRGs using COMP-Ang1. p-Tie-2 expression dramatically decreased after treatment with a Tie-2 kinase inhibitor (S157701), which consequently decreased the level of NF68. COMP-Ang1 can be concluded to promote early neovascularization followed by brisk nerve regeneration, and the mechanism of this regeneration may involve the modulation of the p-Tie-2 and Tie-2 receptors on ECs. These findings demonstrate that ACNGs can be modified using COMP-Ang1 to improve their efficacy in repairing peripheral nerve defects in clinical trials.

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