The present study investigates whether Schwann cells (SCs) could promote the survival and differentiation of neural stem cells in the injured spinal cord. Neural stem cells were dissociated and cloned from the hippocampal tissue of newborn rats. SCs were also dissociated and purified simultaneously from the sciatic nerves of 4-day-old rats. The results showed that the number of surviving neural stem cells and differentiated neuron-like cells was significantly increased in the co-grafted (SCs and neural stem cells) group compared with the control group (neural stem cells only). Neuron-like cells that developed axon-like processes were observed more commonly in the co-grafted group. These results demonstrate that SCs can promote the survival and differentiation of transplanted neural stem cells in the injured spinal cord.

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