Adult stem cell transplants for spinal cord injury repair: Current state in preclinical research

Joaquim Hernández, Abel Torres-Espín, Xavier Navarro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a traumatic disorder resulting in a functional deficit that usually leads to severe and permanent paralysis. After the initial insult to the spinal cord, additional structure and function are lost through an active and complex secondary process. Since there is not effective treatment for SCI, several strategies including cellular, pharmacological and rehabilitation therapies have been approached in animal models. Some of them have been proved in clinical trials. In this review we focus on the current state of cell therapies, particularly on cells from adult origin, assayed in preclinical research. Cell types used in SCI therapy include Schwann cells, olfactory ensheathing cells and adult stem cells, such as neural stem cells, umbilical cord blood derived cells, mesenchymal stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells. There are not yet conclusive evidences on which types of glial or adult stem cells are most effective in SCI treatment. Their ability to incorporate into the damaged spinal cord, to differentiate into neural lineages, to exert neuroprotective effects, to promote regeneration of damaged axons, and to improve functional deficits are still discussed, before translation towards clinical use, as a single therapy or in combination with other strategies. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-287
JournalCurrent Stem Cell Research and Therapy
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2011

Keywords

  • Cell transplantation
  • Chronic lesion
  • Glial scar
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Neural stem cells
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroprotection
  • Olfactory ensheathing cells
  • Regeneration
  • Schwann cells
  • Secondary injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Umbilical cord blood cells

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