Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine the feasibility of fetal surgical repair of myelomeningocele (MMC) in a rodent model using human placental mesenchymal stromal cells (PMSCs) seeded onto extracellular matrix (ECM) and to characterize the resulting changes in spinal cord tissue. Methods: Fetal rodents with retinoic acid (RA) induced MMC underwent surgical repair of the MMC defect using an ECM patch on embryonic age (EA) 19 and were collected via caesarean section on EA 21. Various seeding densities of PMSC-ECM and ECM only controls were evaluated. Cross-sectional compression (width/height) and apoptotic cell density of the lumbosacral spinal cord were analyzed. Results: 67 dams treated with 40. mg/kg of RA resulted in 352 pups with MMC defects. 121 pups underwent MMC repair, and 105 (86.8%) survived to term. Unrepaired MMC pups had significantly greater cord compression and apoptotic cell density compared to normal non-MMC pups. Pups treated with PMSC-ECM had significantly less cord compression and demonstrated a trend towards decreased apoptotic cell density compared to pups treated with ECM only. Conclusion: Surgical repair of MMC with a PMSC-seeded ECM disc is feasible with a postoperative survival rate of 86.8%. Fetal rodents repaired with PMSC-ECM have significantly less cord deformity and decreased histological evidence of apoptosis compared to ECM only controls.
- Extracellular matrix
- Mesenchymal stromal cells
- Tissue engineering
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health