Author(s): Enomoto M, Wakabayashi Y, Qi ML, Shinomiya K
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Abstract The central nervous system (CNS) has a limited capacity for regeneration after injury. In spinal cord injury (SCI) patients, total loss of all motor and sensory function occurs below the level of injury. Advances in treatment are expected for orthopedic and spinal surgeons. Recently, evidence of axonal regeneration and functional recovery has been reported in animal spinal cord injury models. Our studies on the roles of inhibitory molecules with a comparison between neonatal and adult animals may help serve as therapeutic targets to enhance axonal regeneration for the injured spinal cord. Also, our cell replacement study indicates the possibility of transplanting neural stem cells to supply the cell source for immature oligodendrocytes, which are thought to be essential for both the myelination and trophic support of regenerating axons in the spinal cord. Administration of neurotrophic factors, prevention of inhibitory factors, and stem cell technology have clinical applications in SCI patients. However, spinal cord regeneration involves a multistep process, and several factors have to be controlled after injury. A combination of several treatments could overcome a nonpermissive environment for spinal cord regeneration. Further understanding of the mechanisms and finding optimal targets of spinal cord regeneration are necessary to obtain successful therapies for SCI patients.
This article was published in J Orthop Sci
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy