Neurological disorders, including minimally conscious state (MCS), may be associated with the presence of high concentrations of reactive oxygen species within the central nervous system. Regarding the documented role of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in oxidative stress neutralization, the aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of bone marrow-derived MSC (BM-MSC) transplantation on selected markers of oxidative stress in MCS patients. Antioxidant capacity was measured in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma collected from nine patients aged between 19 and 45 years, remaining in MCS for 3 to 14 months. Total antioxidant capacity, ascorbic acid and ascorbate concentrations, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and peroxidase activity were analyzed and the presence of tested antioxidants in the CSF and plasma was confirmed. Higher ascorbic acid (AA) content and catalase (CAT) activity were noted in CSF relative to plasma, whereas superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and total antioxidant capacity were higher in plasma relative to CSF. Total antioxidant capacity measured in CSF was greater after BM-MSC transplantations. The content of ascorbates was lower and CAT activity was higher both in CSF and plasma after the administration of BM-MSC. The above results suggest that MSCs modulate oxidative stress intensity in MCS patients, mainly via ascorbates and CAT activity.
Keywords: mesenchymal stem cells; minimally conscious state; oxidative stress; traumatic brain injury.