Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A (CMT1A) is the most common inherited motor and sensory neuropathy, and is caused by duplication of PMP22, alterations of which are a characteristic feature of demyelination. The clinical phenotype of CMT1A is determined by the degree of axonal loss, and patients suffer from progressive muscle weakness and impaired sensation. Therefore, we investigated the potential of Schwann-like cells differentiated from human tonsil-derived stem cells (T-MSCs) for use in neuromuscular regeneration in trembler-J (Tr-J) mice, a model of CMT1A. After differentiation, we confirmed the increased expression of Schwann cell (SC) markers, including glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR), S100 calcium-binding protein B (S100B), glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which suggests the differentiation of T-MSCs into SCs (T-MSC-SCs). To test their functional efficiency, the T-MSC-SCs were transplanted into the caudal thigh muscle of Tr-J mice. Recipients’ improved locomotive activity on a rotarod test, and their sciatic function index, which suggests that transplanted T-MSC-SCs ameliorated demyelination and atrophy of nerve and muscle in Tr-J mice. Histological and molecular analyses showed the possibility of in situ remyelination by T-MSC-SCs transplantation. These findings demonstrate that the transplantation of heterologous T-MSC-SCs induced neuromuscular regeneration in mice and suggest they could be useful for the therapeutic treatment of patients with CMT1A disease.
- Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1a
- Neuromuscular regeneration
- Schwann cells
- Tonsil-derived mesenchymal stem cells