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(searched for: doi:10.24966/srdt-2060/100060)
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Hyo Jeong Kim, Delger Bayarsaikhan, Jaesuk Lee, Govigerel Bayarsaikhan, Bonghee Lee
Published: 6 October 2021
Frontiers in Neuroscience, Volume 15; https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2021.725398

Abstract:
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a severe X-linked dominant neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene; MeCP2 regulates the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and increasing BDNF levels ameliorates RTT symptoms. However, the clinical application of BDNF is limited, because of its short half-life and low penetrance across the blood-brain barrier. In this study, we generated BDNF-secreting mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from the human umbilical cord cells, using CRISPR-Cas9. We studied the effects of BDNF-MSCs in MECP2 knockout and MECP2-deficient mice. BDNF-MSCs upregulated the expression of BDNF, pAKT, and pERK1/2 and downregulated that of pp38, both in vitro and in vivo. In our in vivo experiments, BDNF-MSCs increased the body and brain weights in mice. BDNF-MSCs increased the neuronal cell numbers in the hippocampus, cortex, and striatum; in addition, they increased the number of synapses. BDNF-MSCs upregulated BDNF and the activity of BDNF downstream effectors, such as pAKT and pERK 1/2; this upregulation was persistent. In conclusion, BDNF-MSCs generated using CRISPR-Cas9 could be a therapeutic strategy for treating RTT.
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