Original Article

Treadmill exercise with bone marrow stromal cells transplantation facilitates neuroprotective effect through BDNF-ERK1/2 pathway in spinal cord injury rats


You-Mi Kim, Jun-Jang Jin, Sam-Jun Lee, Tae-Beom Seo, Eun-Sang Ji

한국운동재활학회 JER Vol.14 No.3 2018.06 pp.335-340
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Transplantation of bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) has been known as one of the effective therapeutic methods for functional recov-ery of spinal cord injury (SCI). Treadmill exercise also facilitates the functional recovery of SCI. Previously, we reported that combination of BMSCs transplantation with treadmill exercise potentiated the locomo-tor function in SCI rats. In the present study, we investigated whether recovery effect of BMSCs transplantation or treadmill exercise appears through the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-extracellular sig-nal–regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) pathway. The spinal cord contusion injury was performed at the T9-T10 level using the impactor. Cultured BMSCs were transplanted directly into the lesion 1 week after SCI. Treadmill exercise was performed 6 days per a week for 6 weeks. Western blot for Bax, Bcl-2, BDNF, tyrosine kinase B (TrkB), and phos-phorylated ERK1/2 (p-ERK1/2), phosphorylated JNK was performed. In the present results, combination of BMSCs transplantation with tread-mill exercise potently decreased Bax expression, potently increased Bcl-2 expression, and potently enhanced BDNF and TrkB expressions in the injured spinal cord. Combination of BMSCs transplantation with treadmill exercise further facilitated p-ERK1/2 and p-c-Jun expression levels. The present findings demonstrated the synergistic effect of treadmill exercise on neuroregenerative effect of BMSCs transplanta-tion appeared through the activation of BDNF-ERK1/2 pathway in SCI.


  Animals and treatments
  Spinal cord contusion injury
  BMSCs culture and transplantation
  Treadmill exercise protocol
  Western blot analysis
  Data analysis
  Bax and Bcl-2 expressions
  BDNF and TrkB expressions
  p-ERK1/2, p-JNK, and p-c-Jun expressions


  • You-Mi Kim Sports Science Research Institution, Korea National Sport University, Seoul, Korea
  • Jun-Jang Jin Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea
  • Sam-Jun Lee Department of Physical Education, College of Health, Welfare, and Education, Tong Myong University, Busan, Korea
  • Tae-Beom Seo Department of Kinesiology, College of Natural Science, Jeju National University, Jeju, Korea
  • Eun-Sang Ji Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea


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