Immediate or Delayed Transplantation of a Vein Conduit Filled with Nasal Olfactory Stem Cells Improves Locomotion and Axogenesis in Rats after a Peroneal Nerve Loss of Substance

  • Bonnet Maxime
  • Guiraudie-Capraz Gaelle
  • Marqueste Tanguy
  • Garcia Stéphane
  • Jaloux Charlotte
  • Decherchi Patrick
  • Feron François

  • Nerve repair
  • Neglected wound
  • Biomaterial
  • Stem cells
  • Syngenic transplantation
  • Ecto-mesenchymal
  • Electrophysiology
  • Neurofilament
  • Myelin


Over the recent years, several methods have been experienced to repair injured peripheral nerves. Among investigated strategies, the use of natural or synthetic conduits was validated for clinical application. In this study, we assessed the therapeutic potential of vein guides, transplanted immediately or two weeks after a peroneal nerve injury and filled with olfactory ecto-mesenchymal stem cells (OEMSC). Rats were randomly allocated to five groups. A3 mm peroneal nerve loss was bridged, acutely or chronically, with a 1 cm long femoral vein and with/without OEMSCs. These four groups were compared to unoperated rats (Control group). OEMSCs were purified from male olfactory mucosae and grafted into female hosts. Three months after surgery, nerve repair was analyzed by measuring locomotor function, mechanical muscle properties, muscle mass, axon number, and myelination. We observed that stem cells significantly (i) increased locomotor recovery, (ii) partially maintained the contractile phenotype of the target muscle, and (iii) augmented the number of growing axons. OEMSCs remained in the nerve and did not migrate in other organs. These results open the way for a phase I/IIa clinical trial based on the autologous engraftment of OEMSCs in patients with a nerve injury, especially those with neglected wounds.