Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a noninvasive widely applied treatment that increases the oxygen pressure in tissues. In cochlear implant (CI) research, intracochlear application of neurotrophic factors (NTFs) is able to improve survival of spiral ganglion neurons (SGN) after deafness. Cell-based delivery of NTFs such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) may be realized by cell-coating of the surface of the CI electrode. Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) secrete a variety of different neurotrophic factors and may be used for the development of a biohybrid electrode in order to release endogenously-derived neuroprotective factors for the protection of residual SGN and for a guided outgrowth of dendrites in the direction of the CI electrode. HBOT could be used to influence cell behaviour after transplantation to the inner ear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of HBOT on the proliferation, BDNF-release and secretion of neuroprotective factors. Thus, model cells (an immortalized fibroblast cell line (NIH3T3)-native and genetically modified) and MSCs were repeatedly (3 x – 10 x) exposed to 100% oxygen at different pressures. The effects of HBO on cell proliferation were investigated in relation to normoxic and normobaric conditions (NOR). Moreover, the neuroprotective and neuroregenerative effects of HBO-treated cells were analysed by cultivation of SGN in conditioned medium. Both, the genetically modified NIH3T3/BDNF and native NIH3T3 fibroblasts, showed a highly significant increased proliferation after five days of HBOT in comparison to normoxic controls. By contrast, the number of MSCs was decreased in MSCs treated with 2.0 bar of HBO. Treating SGN cultures with supernatants of fibroblasts and MSCs significantly increased the survival rate of SGN. HBO treatment did not influence (increase / reduce) this effect. Secretome analysis showed that HBO treatment altered the protein expression pattern in MSCs.
Schulze J, Kaiser O, Paasche G, Lamm H, Pich A, Hoffmann A, Lenarz T, Warnecke A. Effect of hyperbaric oxygen on BDNF-release and neuroprotection: Investigations with human mesenchymal stem cells and genetically modified NIH3T3 fibroblasts as putative cell therapeutics. PLoS One. 2017 May 23;12(5):e0178182. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178182. PMID: 28542481; PMCID: PMC5441643.