Therapeutic Activities of Engrafted Neural Stem/Precursor Cells Are Not Dormant in the Chronically Injured Spinal Cord
From Stem Cells
Neural stem or precursor cells (NSPCs) have tremendous promise for use in cell-based therapies for the treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI) as they have been shown to provide trophic support following transplantation, allowing modification of the host environment to allow some endogenous regeneration and repair in animal models (Aboody et al, Barnabe-Heider and Frisen, and Martino and Pluchino). However, few studies have assessed their role in the chronic phase of SCI (Tetzlaff et al) and any correlation to microenvironmental factors (Thuret et al), which is potentially important for the behaviour of transplanted NSPCs. Now, in a study published in Stem Cells from the laboratory of Seiji Okada at Kyushu University, Japan, Kumamaru et al combine flow-cytometric isolation and RNA-Seq to analyse the transcriptome of NSPCs transplanted into SCI during the chronic phase, and have demonstrated that while the cells have a positive therapeutic effect, the refractory state of the chronically injured spinal cord hampers locomotory recovery.