Object. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of grafting encapsulated basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)—secreting cells in rat brains subjected to ischemic injury.
Methods. Two cell lines were used for encapsulated grafting in this experiment, namely, a bFGF-secreting cell line established by genetic manipulation of baby hamster kidney (BHK) cells, and a naive BHK cell line. Forty-seven Sprague—Dawley rats were used in this experiment. The animals were divided into the following three groups: those receiving grafts of encapsulated bFGF-secreting cells (BHK-bFGF group); those with grafts of encapsulated naive BHK cells (naive BHK group); and those with no grafts (control group). The authors implanted encapsulated cells into the right striatum of host rats in the BHK-bFGF and naive BHK groups. Six days after grafting, the host and control animals underwent permanent right middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) with an intraluminal suture procedure. The infarct volume was evaluated using 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining and computerized image analysis 24 hours after MCAO. Fragmentations of DNA in the host brains were analyzed using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling 12 hours after MCAO.
The authors found that the infarct volume in the BHK-bFGF group was reduced by approximately 30% compared with that in the naive BHK and control groups. In the ischemic penumbral area, the number of apoptotic cells in the BHK-bFGF group was significantly decreased compared with that in the other groups.
Conclusions. The grafting of encapsulated BHK bFGF-secreting cells protected the brain from ischemic injury. Encapsulation and grafting of genetically engineered cells such as bFGF-secreting cells is thus thought to be a useful method for protection against cerebral ischemia.