Stem Cells: Current Approach and Future Prospects in Spinal Cord Injury Repair

Authors

  • Ning Zhang,

    1. Department of Orthopaedics, 2nd Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, People's Republic of China
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  • Johannes Wimmer,

    1. Section for Orthopedics, Campus Luebeck, University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Luebeck, Germany
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  • Sheng-Jun Qian,

    1. Department of Orthopaedics, 2nd Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, People's Republic of China
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  • Wei-Shan Chen

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Orthopaedics, 2nd Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, People's Republic of China
    • Department of Orthopaedics, 2nd Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, #88 Jiefang Road, Hangzhou, People's Republic of China 310009
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    • Fax: +8657187022776


Abstract

Spinal cord injury (SCI) invariably results in the loss of neurons and axonal degeneration at the lesion site, leading to permanent paralysis and loss of sensation. There has been no successful treatment for severe spinal cord injuries to recover back to normal function yet. Studies have shown that the transplantation of stem cells may provide an effective treatment for SCI because of the self-renewing and multipotential nature of these cells. Stem cells have the capability to repair injured nervous tissue through replacement of damaged cells, neuroprotection, or the creation of an environment conducive to regeneration by endogenous cells. Up to today several types of stem cells have been transplanted into the injured spinal cord. However, the question of which cell type is most beneficial for SCI treatment is still unresolved. There are still several limitations to the current data sets which require further investigation. Anat Rec, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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