Adipose stromal cells (ASC) secrete various trophic factors that assist in the protection of neurons in a variety of neuronal death models. In this study, we tested the effects of human ASC conditional medium (ASC-CM) in human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) transgenic mouse model expressing mutant superoxide dismutase (SOD1 G93A). Treating symptomatic SOD1 G93A mice with ASC-CM significantly increased post-onset survival time and lifespan. Moreover, SOD1 G93A mice given ASC-CM treatment showed high motor neuron counts, less activation of microglia and astrocytes at an early symptomatic stage in the spinal cords under immunohistochemical analysis. SOD1 G93A mice treated with ASC-CM for 7 days showed reduced levels of phosphorylated p38 (pp38) in the spinal cord, a mitogen-activated protein kinase that is involved in both inflammation and neuronal death. Additionally, the levels of α-II spectrin in spinal cords were also inhibited in SOD1 G93A mice treated with ASC-CM for 3 days. Interestingly, nerve growth factor (NGF), a neurotrophic factor found in ASC-CM, played a significant role in the protection of neurodegeneration inSOD1 G93A mouse. These results indicate that ASC-CM has the potential to develop into a novel and effective therapeutic treatment for ALS.
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