Cell transplantation therapy for spinal cord injury

Peggy Assinck, Greg J Duncan, Brett J Hilton, Jason R Plemel, Wolfram Tetzlaff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Spinal cord injury can lead to severe motor, sensory and autonomic dysfunction. Currently, there is no effective treatment for the injured spinal cord. The transplantation of Schwann cells, neural stem cells or progenitor cells, olfactory ensheathing cells, oligodendrocyte precursor cells and mesenchymal stem cells has been investigated as potential therapies for spinal cord injury. However, little is known about the mechanisms through which these individual cell types promote repair and functional improvements. The five most commonly proposed mechanisms include neuroprotection, immunomodulation, axon regeneration, neuronal relay formation and myelin regeneration. A better understanding of the mechanisms whereby these cells promote functional improvements, as well as an appreciation of the obstacles in implementing these therapies and effectively modeling spinal cord injury, will be important to make cell transplantation a viable clinical option and may lead to the development of more targeted therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-647
Number of pages11
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number5
Early online date25 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Animals
  • Cell Transplantation/methods
  • Humans
  • Nerve Regeneration/physiology
  • Neural Stem Cells/cytology
  • Recovery of Function/physiology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries/therapy


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