Concise Review: Spinal Cord Injuries: How Could Adult Mesenchymal and Neural Crest Stem Cells Take Up the Challenge?

Authors

  • Virginie Neirinckx,

    1. Groupe Interdisciplinaire de Génoprotéomique appliquée (GIGA), Neurosciences Unit, Liège, Belgium
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  • Dorothée Cantinieaux,

    1. Groupe Interdisciplinaire de Génoprotéomique appliquée (GIGA), Neurosciences Unit, Liège, Belgium
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  • Cécile Coste,

    1. Groupe Interdisciplinaire de Génoprotéomique appliquée (GIGA), Neurosciences Unit, Liège, Belgium
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  • Bernard Rogister,

    1. Groupe Interdisciplinaire de Génoprotéomique appliquée (GIGA), Neurosciences Unit, Liège, Belgium
    2. GIGA, Development, Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Unit, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
    3. Department of Neurology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège, Liège, Belgium
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  • Rachelle Franzen,

    1. Groupe Interdisciplinaire de Génoprotéomique appliquée (GIGA), Neurosciences Unit, Liège, Belgium
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  • Sabine Wislet-Gendebien

    Corresponding author
    1. Groupe Interdisciplinaire de Génoprotéomique appliquée (GIGA), Neurosciences Unit, Liège, Belgium
    • Correspondence: Sabine Wislet-Gendebien, Ph.D., GIGA—Neuroscience, University of Liège, Tour de Pathologie 2, Avenue de l'Hôpital, 1, 4000 Liège, Belgium. Telephone: 32-4-366-39-88; Fax: 32-4-366-23-14; e-mail: s.wislet@ulg.ac.be

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Abstract

Since several years, adult/perinatal mesenchymal and neural crest stem cells have been widely used to help experimental animal to recover from spinal cord injury. More interestingly, recent clinical trials confirmed the beneficial effect of those stem cells, which improve functional score of patients suffering from such lesions. However, a complete understanding of the mechanisms of stem cell-induced recovery is seriously lacking. Indeed, spinal cord injuries gathered a wide range of biochemical and physiopathological events (such as inflammation, oxidative stress, axonal damage, demyelination, etc.) and the genuine healing process after cell transplantation is not sufficiently defined. This review aims to sum up recent data about cell therapy in spinal cord lesions using mesenchymal or recently identified neural crest stem cells, by describing precisely which physiopathological parameter is affected and the exact processes underlying the observed changes. Overall, although significant advances are acknowledged, it seems that further deep mechanistic investigation is needed for the development of optimized and efficient cell-based therapy protocols. Stem Cells 2014;32:829–843

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