Background/Aims: Every year, around the world, between 250000 and 500000 people suffer from spinal cord injury (SCI). This study investigated the potential for poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) complex inoculated with olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) to treat spinal cord injury in a rat model. Methods: OECs were identified by immunofluorescence based on the nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR) p75. The Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan (BBB) score, together with an inclined plane (IP) test were used to detect functional recovery. Nissl staining along with the luxol fast blue (LFB) staining were independently employed to illustrate morphological alterations. More so, immunofluorescence labeling of the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and the microtubule-associated protein-2 (MAP-2), representing astrocytes and neurons respectively, were investigated at time points of weeks 2 and 8 post-operation. Results: The findings showed enhanced locomotor recovery, axon myelination and better protected neurons post SCI when compared with either PLGA or untreated groups (P < 0.05). Conclusion: PLGA complexes inoculated with OECs improve locomotor functional recovery in transected spinal cord injured rat models, which is most likely due to the fact it is conducive to a relatively benevolent microenvironment, has nerve protective effects, as well as the ability to enhance remyelination, via a promotion of cell differentiation and inhibition of astrocyte formation.

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