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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.01151

BAF45D downregulation in spinal cord ependymal cells following spinal cord injury in adult rats and its potential role in the development of neuronal lesions

 Zhenzhen Wang1,  Jian Huang1, 2,  Chang Liu1, Lihua Liu1,  Yuxian Shen1, Cailang Shen1 and  Chao Liu1*
  • 1Anhui Medical University, China
  • 2Department of Spine Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, China

The endogenous spinal cord ependymal cells (SCECs), which form the central canal (CC), are critically involved in proliferation, differentiation and migration after spinal cord injury (SCI) and represents a repair cell source in treating SCI. Previously, we reported that BAF45D is expressed in the SCECs and the spinal cord neurons in adult mice and knockdown of BAF45D fail to induce expression of PAX6, a neurogenic fate determinant, during early neural differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. However, the effects of SCI on expression of BAF45D have not been reported. The aim of this study is to explore the expression and potential role of BAF45D in rat SCI model. In this study, adult rats were randomly divided into intact, sham and SCI groups. We first explored expression of BAF45D in the SCECs in intact adult rats. We then explored SCI-induced loss of motor neurons and lesion of neurites in the anterior horns induced by the SCI. We also investigated whether the SCI-induced lesions in SCECs are accompanied by the motor neuron lesions. Finally, we examined the effect of BAF45D knockdown on cell growth in neuro2a cells. Our data showed that BAF45D is expressed in SCECs, neurons and oligodendrocytes but not astrocytes in the spinal cords of intact adult rats. After SCI, the structure of CC was disrupted and the BAF45D-positive SCEC-derivatives were decreased. During the early stages of SCI, when shape of CC was affected but there was no disruption in circular structure of the SCECs, it was evident that there was a significant reduction in the number of neurites and motor neurons in the anterior horns compared with those of intact rats. In comparison, a complete loss of SCECs accompanied by further loss of motor neurons but not neurites was observed at the later stage. BAF45D knockdown was also found to inhibit cell growth in neuro2a cells. These results highlight the decreased expression of BAF45D in SCI-injured SCECs and the potential role of BAF45D downregulation in development of neuronal lesion after SCI in adult rats.

Keywords: BAF45D, spinal cord injury, Spinal cord ependymal cells, neurite, motor neuron

Received: 12 Jun 2019; Accepted: 11 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Wang, Huang, Liu, Liu, Shen, Shen and Liu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Chao Liu, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, 230032, Anhui Province, China, chaol1974@ahmu.edu.cn