Author(s): Schultz SS
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Abstract The mechanical force incurred by spinal cord injury results in degenerative neural tissue damage beyond the site of initial injury. By nature, the central nervous system (CNS) does not regenerate itself. Cell therapy, in particular, stem cell implantation has become a possible solution for spinal cord injury. Embryonic stem cells and fetal stem cells are the forefathers of the field of stem cell therapy. Isolation and preparation of specific populations of adult stem cells have evolved to the point of stable, long-term culturing with the capability to differentiate into neural phenotypes from all three of the neural lineages: neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. Thus, adult stem cells will transcend ethical concerns, technical difficulties, and probably immunorejection. A variety of adult stem cells have been implanted in a rat model of spinal cord injury, ranging from olfactory ensheathing cells, cultured spinal cord stem cells, bone marrow derived stem cells, dermis derived stem cells, and a few others. Although no definite decisions on which adult stem cells are most effective for this CNS injury, their ability to incorporate into the spinal cord, differentiate, and to improve locomotor recovery hold promise for a cure.
This article was published in Curr Drug Targets
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy